A survey conducted by Ipsos for the ING bank website eZonomics on Wednesday showed that more than a third of Europeans and Americans would be happy to go without cash and rely on electronic forms of payment if they could.
The study, which was conducted in 13 European countries, the U.S. and Australia, also found that in many places where cash was most used, people were among the keenest to ditch it.
According to the survey, 34 per cent of respondents in Europe and 38 per cent in the U.S. say they will be willing to go cash-free.
It said 21 per cent and 34 per cent in Europe and the U.S. said they rarely used cash.
More than half of the European respondents said they used less cash in the past 12 months than previously and 78 per cent said they expected to use it even less over the coming 12 months.
Ian Bright, the Managing Director of group research for ING Wholesale Banking, said he did not believe that people would quit cash entirely, but the direction was obvious.
“More and more people will end up with a situation where they can quite comfortably get by for two days, three days, four days, even a week, without ever using cash,” he said.
Payment systems such as contactless cards and mobile-phone digital wallets have become so prevalent the issue has become political in some countries.
Cash-loving Germans, for example, have been concerned that a move by the European Central Bank to phase out the 500 euro note by the end of next year is the start of a slippery slope.