Just one in three people are “comfortable” with the idea of a cashless society - with the biggest concerns among the elderly, according to new research.

Cash is still very much king for the majority of Brits, as today, just 33 per cent of British adults say they would be comfortable with a cashless society.

A cashless society is most appealing to people aged 25 to 34 (46 per cent), according to the research by consumer analysts Mintel.

But the willingness to give up on pounds, pennies and notes declines with age, falling to just one in five people aged 55 and over (20 per cent).

Women (28 per cent) are less in favour of a cashless society than men (38 per cent), according tothe findings.

People in London (37 per cent) and Scotland (36 per cent) are most comfortable dispensing with cash, compared to just 30 per cent of folk in Yorkshire and Humberside plus the South East and East Anglia.

The top three payment methods used in the three months from February to April this year were cash (93 per cent), debit card (Chip & PIN) (82 per cent) and direct debit/standing order (79 per cent).

Patrick Ross, senior financial services analyst at Mintel, said: “While alternative payment methods continue to grow, the demise of cash has been greatly exaggerated.

“Many people still prefer using cash, while others simply like to have some cash with them just in case.

“Although card payments are almost universally accepted in urban areas, cash continues to play an important role in everyday life.”

Almost half of British adults (49 per cent) used a contactless debit card in the three months from February to April, while 4 per cent have used a contactless credit card.

But less than a third (31 per cent) wrote a cheque in the same period, relegating it to among Britain’s three least favoured payment methods. Only contactless smartphone payments (13 per cent) and contactless wearables (nine per cent) attract a lower number of users.

More than half of shoppers (52 per cent) say they would put off using a payment method if it is not widely accepted.

And more than third (37 per cent) who have not used a smartphone to make payments or transfers in the past 12 months say they simply prefer using other payment methods, such as cash or a debit card.

And 34 per cent of the same group say they have security concerns about smartphone payments or transfers.

Mr Ross said: “Despite widespread ownership of both smartphones and cards, many people continue to show a preference for cash.

“Putting aside allowances for finding anything in a bag quickly, it’s clear that there isn’t all that much difference in terms of the convenience of these options.

“The fact that contactless smartphone payments don’t offer added convenience over contactless card payments will remain a significant barrier to uptake.

Researchers also found that more than three out of four people (78 per cent) have bought something online using a laptop or desktop computer in the last 12 months, compared with 29 per cent who have done so using a smartphone device.

But more than half of all adults (57 per cent) haven’t used a smartphone for any kind of online payment or transfer in the last 12 months.

While younger people have grown up with mobile devices and smartphones, 40 per cent of 16 to 34-year-olds who have not used a smartphone to make payments or transfers in the last year say they prefer different payment methods.

Mr Reed added: “For many, it is just easier to use a laptop or desktop computer when making payments online.

“The screen is bigger, the process is easier to navigate and there is little value placed on shopping online while on the go.”