Cash has always been the preferred way to pay for things, but debit and credit cards are slowly becoming the preferred way of modern day. Instead of having to fumble and wash hands during and after every cash transaction, people are starting to prefer swiping and getting charged quickly and directly.
The UK is actually leading in terms of stats for decreasing cash usage rates. Sweden, is one other country that is doing away with cash faster though.
This may not seem like an issue as most people probably use cards in some way, but for the people that have never liked using cards or people that love cash, it is making it harder for their daily lives. There are fewer ATMs around the UK and more and more places are having issues with providing change.
It is not only the basic functionality of cards that made this happen though. Contactless payment is a big part in why more and more people are moving away from cash. Swiping and inserting a card is fast, but not as fast and convenient as contactless payment. Cards now have the ability to be tapped on a payment terminal and the card will be charged. This instantaneous and easy to use technology has contributed to the decrease in cash and ATM usage.