Three in five adults believe Britain will be a cashless society by 2030, according to new research.

The study from ThoughtWorks reported that 64 per cent of respondents believe posted bank statements and cheques will be a thing of the past, and 24 per cent could imagine staff-less bank branches – 23 per cent believe high street branches won’t exist at all.

Phil Hingley, Director of Financial Services at ThoughtWorks UK commented: “Banks and consumers need to be prepared for the biggest change in currency since the first coin was struck from precious metal around 3,000 years BC and paper money appeared for the first time in the 11th century.

“The need for coins and paper banknotes representing value is fast disappearing. Whose portrait appears on Britain’s last banknote may be open to speculation but that it will happen is beyond doubt.

“Cashless transactions are rocketing and the UK has by far the largest number of payments made by card, phone or electronically in Europe, amounting to annual revenue of some €106 trillion per year.

“Some retail sectors – such as transport – are already almost entirely cashless and I see other sectors rapidly catching up. The question is, when will cash disappear from our pockets?”

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When quizzed about which monarch’s image will be the last to appear on a British banknote, 9 per cent that foresaw a cashless Britain thought that Queen Elizabeth II would be the last, while half (49 per cent) thought that cash will have disappeared by the time Prince William reaches the throne.

Assuming that the monarchy remains, a fifth believe that Prince George of Cambridge who is third in the line of succession will be the last on British banknotes.

Hingley added: “Consumer life in 2030 Britain will be very different with the advent of new tech. With coins extinct and paper currency on its last legs, consumers will be making instant payments from their mobile and wearable devices.

“Artificial intelligence will guide our buying decisions, restocking our shelves and giving answers to financial questions.

“Biometrics will diversify and expand how we inter-react: financial services products won’t sit outside our everyday lives, they will become integral to the lifestyle decisions we make.”

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