The UK is ahead of both the United States and Germany in terms of adapting to a cashless society, according to new research.

Global trading site Forex Bonuses analysed the world’s 20 largest economies to find which were adapting quickest to using cashless systems.

The metrics it used were contactless card saturation, the number of debit and credit cards issued per capita, usage of cashless methods, growth of these cashless payments and the proportion of people who are aware of which mobile payment services are available.

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It found Canada is leading the way ahead of Sweden, with the UK coming in third.

The rest of the top 10 was rounded out by France, USA, China, Australia, Germany, Japan and Russia.

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Canada only has contactless functionality in 26 per cent of cards, compared to 41 per cent in the UK and 56 per cent in China, and the lowest number of debit cards per capita – but was found to have an average of more than two credit cards per person.

That figure was only exceeded by its neighbours the US, which had slightly less than three.

In Sweden 59 per cent of all consumer transactions are cashless, a figure matched by France, with Canada at 57 per cent and the UK at 52 per cent.

China was well down on this metric, with just ten per cent of transactions conducted without a physical exchange of cash.