More than two in five Britons would be ready to ditch cash completely if card payments were accepted everywhere, a survey suggests.

Some 44% of people surveyed for Mastercard claimed they would empty notes and coins out of their pockets altogether if they could pay by card anywhere they liked.

Those aged between 25 and 34 were the most likely to say they would give up cash, with nearly two-thirds (62%) in this age group saying they would pay only with cards if they were universally accepted.

Two in five (40%) Britons said their declining use of cash was due to the growing acceptance of contactless payments, Mastercard’s survey of 2,000 people found. The limit for making a single contactless payment was increased by £10 in September 2015, to £30.

Nearly one in four (24%) people surveyed think cash will cease to exist within their lifetime – rising to two-fifths (41%) of 25 to 34-year-olds.

Figures from the UK Cards Association showed this week that contactless card spending has topped £2 billion in the space of a month across the UK for the first time. A total of £2.1 billion-worth of contactless payments were made in July, the Association said.

Some concerns have been raised around the security of contactless payments, although the Association has said fraud on contactless cards is rare and considerably lower than overall card fraud.

Trade association Payments UK has previously predicted that debit cards are set to overtake cash to be the UK’s most frequently-used payment method by 2021, helped by the rapid rise in contactless payments.

Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard UK and Ireland, said: “Our own data shows contactless spending is growing 225% year-on-year in the UK.”

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