Contactless card boom is killing traditional purse and wallet sales

Katie Morley
The trend, which applies to both men and - increasingly women's wallets - comes as they are carrying less and less cash on their person. - PA

A tap-and-go card boom sweeping the UK could spell the end of traditional purses and wallets, sales figures suggest.

According to shops consumers are ditching wallets with space for coins and notes, for slim card holders, which have overtaken them for the first time as the most popular style.

The trend, which applies to both men's and - increasingly women's wallets - comes as they are carrying less and less cash on their person.

Instead they are becoming increasingly reliant on contactless cads, with households spending almost £4 billion using contactless cards in April alone. This is almost 150 per cent more than in the previous year.

Slim cardholders like this - which have no space for cash - are now more popular than traditional wallets  Credit: Bally

Department stores including John Lewis and Debenhams both said wallets only have slots for cards had overtaken wallets and purses with coin pouches for the first time this year.

John Lewis said slim card wallet sales were growing twice as fast as chunkier purses, with sales up by 90 per cent yer on year compared to 42 per cent. while Debenhams said sales of card wallets were up by 100 per cent over 12 months.  

It comes after the Royal Mint's chaotic withdrawal of the old £1 last week. Thousands of shops have ignored the cut-off date of October 15 and are continuing to accept the coin, causing mass confusion over where and when people can spend old £1 coins.   

The old pound coin has now officially been phased out...but some shops are still accepting it Credit:  Matt Cardy

Robert Ettinger, director at upmarket wallet maker Ettinger of London, added: "Card cases have certainly overtaken coin wallets in the European market. Women still tend to have and buy larger purses but are now tending to buy the smaller slimmer items as well and something to take out with them when they do not need everything that their larger purse takes."

A spokesman at Debenhams' menswear department, said: "As we move towards a cashless society wallets are getting smaller and the small card holder styles are now our best sellers." 

 katie.morley@telegraph.co.uk

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