Lower income households and older people will be hardest hit as bank branch and ATM closures threaten to prevent them from vital access to cash, a consumer group has warned.
Which? found more than three quarters (78%) of consumers in the two lowest household income groups rely on cash the most, while a quarter of them (26%) never use card payments.
Some four in five retirees (80%) are reliant on cash, using it at least two to three times a week, the watchdog found.
However, 98% of the general population used cash, with 73% saying they used it frequently and just 5% saying they rarely used it.
While just over half of people (54%) said they were not worried about moving towards a cashless society, more than two in five (41%) said they did have concerns.
Of those who were concerned, more than half (54%) were worried about greater scope for scams with credit and debit cards and 46% had concerns about the reliability of electronic payment systems.
The survey also found 57% had experienced a time when they could only pay by cash in the last three months, with 82% saying cash was the only method of payment accepted by the vendor.