Research into the changing ways that Brits spend their money has heralded the death of the wallet.

A study from the Payments Council has found that although cash transactions are still used in the majority of payments for items under £25, contactless technology could revolutionise the way we pay.

“We scarcely notice the steady changes in the way we pay, yet someone in their thirties today will see more change in their lifetime than in the entire history of money,” said Adrian Kamellard, chief executive of the Payments Council. “The wallet could become a historical curiosity.”

contactless2The mults are fast implementing the new tech – Co-op announced this month that it has contactless in more than 2,000 stores, with another 1,000 to follow this year – and Nisa retailer Kishor Petal said indies are on the cusp of embracing contactless. “We have tried to get contactless payments in with a couple of suppliers of EPoS and they are holding back as they don’t see the demand for it in retail stores like ours at the moment.  It costs them to develop the software and they feel there is not enough demand for it in store but we will have it in before too long, definitely by the end of this year,” he said.

He said he wanted to bring it in because customers expect swift transactions. “Customers can go into any big store now and go to the self-service checkout, which is something the younger generation are getting very used to. We want to encourage young people to come in to our store and buy things quickly like they can already do at the multiples.”

Contactless Fast Facts from the UK Cards Association

  • Number of cards in the UK with contactless functionality: 31million
  • Number of terminals in the UK: 143,000 (as of December 2012)
  • Cost of simplest contactless-enabled device: around £15.00 per month