The switch to a cashless society has gained pace because of the coronavirus pandemic. Using cards helps with hygiene but people should make sure they don’t get caught out with contactless.
The use of debit and credit cards has been steadily increasing. Last year, in the UK we passed the halfway mark – where more transactions were made with cards than cash.
The 2020 coronavirus has further changed the payments landscape. A survey of habits conducted by Mastercard revealed that two thirds of people now pay by card because of virus concerns.
Cash has historically passed from pocket to pocket, and purse to purse, many times while in circulation. It is touched by thousands of people. The fear of infection has encouraged more of us to make the change.
Is contactless safe?
There are two issues with contactless safety.
The first has worried spenders for years. Can criminals access our cards while they are in our pockets and wallets? Brushing past us could trigger an unwanted transaction, right?
Don’t be too afraid. Like any system there are potential weak points. However, basic security measures and keeping your card close make it very hard for scammers to operate. Also, payments made through “mobile wallets” usually require a fingerprint ID. These are very secure.
The other issue is basic hygiene. Although contactless cards are much better than cash if we want to avoid touching, make sure you follow common sense guidelines.
Although contactless, many of us tap our cards against the payment machines. Treat your cards like any other device and wipe it with a suitable and safe cleaning fluid.
What about budgeting without cash?
In fact, there is another issue with a contactless lifestyle. Budgeting.
With cash in our pockets we know exactly where we stand. You can see the notes dwindling and you make appropriate choices.
With contactless our spending can go unchecked until it’s too late and accounts are empty. The Mastercard survey found that 76% of respondents think they will continue using contactless payments after the coronavirus crisis. That means we should all look to digital budgeting tools.
It’s what we do with our clients. We assess exactly what’s coming in, going out, and what future income and spending plans look like. Often, it can be as simple as checking your balance each day.
That way an accurate picture can be painted. You know where you stand. You know what cash is left to move into saving accounts or pay down that mortgage quicker.
Talk to us about planning and budgeting
It’s never too early to start planning. It helps you map out your financial future. It helps you work towards a more comfortable retirement.
That might sound disconnected from your current everyday contactless spending but developing good habits now will build firm foundations for the future.
Call us on 0808 1234 321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any aspects of financial planning and budgeting to help you .
Please be aware the value of investments or income from them can fall as well as rise. We are here to help you make informed decisions as you put important things in place for you and your family.
* Logic Wealth Planning provides independent financial advice in Manchester, Bury, Rochdale, Cheshire, and the surrounding area, but not limited to the region.