Cash is still king but crown is slipping

Gem Sofianos

Source: Photoshot

Consumers turning to contactless

The number of cash payments decreased by 11 per cent between 2015 and 2016 as consumers turn contactless according to UK Finance.

The trade body for financial providers said nearly 3m consumers, about 6 per cent of the population, rarely used cash last year but it still remains the most frequently used payment method in the UK.

Cash still accounted for 44 per cent of all payments made by consumers across the UK.

Consumers and businesses made 15.4bn cash payments in 2016 while the second most frequently-used method, debit cards amounted to 11.6 bn.

Youngerconsumers are the least likely to use cash, more than one in 10 of those aged 25-34 make one cash payment each month or no cash payment at all compared to 2 per cent of 55 to 64-year-olds.

Adrian Buckle, Chief Economist at UK Finance, said: “It is clear that over the past few years we have witnessed a significant shift away from cash use in this country with contactless cards undoubtedly causing a decrease in the use of notes and coins.

“However we don’t believe that the UK is on the verge of becoming cashless, as some reports have claimed. People will always want to choose the payment methods that best suit them and, for the foreseeable future, in lots of cases that will continue to be cash.”

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