The amount of money spent on debit cards is set to overtake cash for the first time, in 2010.
Card company Visa believes the rise in contactless payments, where cards are waved across a reader to pay for small items, will get more people switching from coins and notes to plastic.
The number of contactless cards in use is expected to triple this year, from 5 to 15 million.
The Times reports credit card companies are heavily backing the new technology, but the difficulty is getting consumers used to using cards for transactions under £5.
Visa believe contactless payments will lead to a cashless society, but coins and notes still account for nearly two thirds of all purchases.
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