However, cash (and its closest digital cousin, card payments) are far from dead and perhaps not even dying — despite the hype around wearable payments, mobile payments, and cryptocurrency.
The Money20/20 Europe Payments Race — something the conference has done in other parts of the world with significantly different results — pitted Team Cash, Team Card, Team Crypto, Team Wearables (using a Curve Ring and Apple Watch), and Team Mobile against each other to find the fastest route from Istanbul to Amsterdam.
In the end, the results were:
- (Joint) 1st – Team Cash / Team Card
- 3rd – Team Wearables
- 4th – Team Crypto
- 5th – Team Mobile
Despite coming in first, Team Card said it suffered as a result of Visa’s service outage last Friday, describing it as “a nice spanner in the works”.
The Visa outage on Friday left millions of people unable to pay for goods and services across Europe for a few hours.
Last year the European Central Bank (ECB) said there were some 804 million payment cards in the European Union in 2016, representing around 1.6 payment cards per EU inhabitant, as well as around 54 billion transactions processed by retail payment systems that year, totalling €41.8 trillion ($48.7 trillion).
In the UK payment processing through Visa’s systems accounts for £1 in £3 of all spending.