Recently, the world’s largest printing company – The United Kingdom De La Ru e published a bankruptcy warning, the news immediately caused concern. The reason for Delaru’s troubles is twomains: first, that important orders have been taken away by competitors, that De La Rue is running out of money, and that there is a change in the means of payment and a wave of cashless payments sweeping the globe.
On the streets of London, more and more food stalls are starting to do not charge cash. As people move away from physical currencies, some companies are paying the price, such as de la Ru, the money-printing company. Previously, De La Rue printed paper money for about 140 central banks around the world and passports for 40 countries. Recently, however, the company lost its contract to print passports for the UK. The latest figures show that revenues in the de la Rue currency printing division fell by almost 30 per cent in the first half of the financial year.
Ron Delnevo, Europe Executive Director of the Global ATM Industry Association: I think De La Rue is going through a tough time, they’re losing their contract to print a British passport, it’s both a public relations and a business blow for them. And it is clear that they have not been able to secure enough contracts on a global scale.
De La Rue has been printing pounds for Britain since 1860, and the company still prints about 7 billion notes a year. However, as new technologies are irreversibly changing the world’s payment landscape, the money printing industry has come under general pressure in recent years and De La Rue’s profit margins have been squeezed.
Robin Dwyer, Reuters: Figures released by british financial firms representing the Bank of England and the financial sector showed a 16% drop in cash payments last year. It also predicts that in 10 years’ time less than one in ten transactions will be done by paper money and coins.
Cash payments still account for 28 per cent of all payments in the UK. But that is changing, with two-thirds of UK adults now using contactless payments, according to the UK’s Annual Financial Report, and about 8.5m people, or 16 per cent of the adult population, signed up for mobile payments last year. But does this mean the end of the cash age? Associations representing the global ATM industry do not think so.
Ron Delnevo, Europe Executive Director, Global ATM Industry Association: 50 years ago, only cash payments were made, and now we have credit cards, digital payments and online payments. Everyone, or most people, has a different payment method, which means people now have a choice. However, as long as people have a choice, they will still want to keep cash as an option.