The most powerful man in tech believes the world will become cashless

Lynsey Barber
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A cash free society is likely (Source: Getty)

The man in charge of the biggest company in the world and arguably the most powerful man in technology - Apple's Tim Cook - has weighed in with his two cents on the future of money.

Apple may be rolling around in cash reserves of more than $100bn, but Cook won't be doing a Scrooge McDuck style dive into that pile, revealing that he believes we're heading for a cashless society.

Read more: Watch out PayPal: Now you can use Apple Pay online

And he wants Apple Pay to help the world get there, he said on a visit to Japan.

"We would like to be a catalyst for taking cash out of the system," he told the Nikkei newspaper, adding: "We don't think the consumer particularly likes cash."

In Europe, the number of payments being made via mobile has tripled in the past year, according to the latest figures from Visa's annual Digital Payments study, with more than half of us now paying for everyday goods or services with the technology.

The move to mobile payments is being fuelled by contactless cards, beloved by London's commuters, acting as a gateway for other non-cash payment methods by "normalising digital payments" the card company said.

Even Monopoly is going cash free these days, but while Apple is helping people go from cash to digital it faces competition from others.

Read more: We've already spent more via contactless than in all of 2015

Google launched Android Pay in the UK in May, while Samsung plans to launch its own mobile pay service here this autumn. Meanwhile Barclays is going it alone with its own app for customers to pay via mobile.

There are plenty of companies, including Apple, pushing us towards ditching cash, but it might be a little longer before the rest of the world catches up to Sweden - the society closest to becoming cash free and where just two per cent of transactions are made using notes or coins.

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