According to The Guardian, this month marked the 30th anniversary of the pound coin. Since its launch in 1983 which aimed to increase the longevity of the coin rather than its paper version, the brassy yellow coin has lost a lot of purchasing power. In 1983 it was possible to buy a pint for 93p, a loaf of bread for 38p and a pint of milk for 21p.
Statistics from the Payments Council showed that in the mid-eighties cash accounted for 86% of payment in the UK. However, by 2011 the use of cash for purchasing items had fallen to 55%. Over the last two years electronic and automated payments have increased even more so making it likely to be even less than just over half today. The increase in cashless transactions is said to be due to the introduction of Direct Debit, credit and debit cards along with the rise of the internet and online shopping payment facilities.
A SmartDebit spokesperson explained, “Since the mid to late eighties consumers in the UK have experienced various different ways to pay for goods rather than cash. As the younger generation move away from cash and cheque towards Direct Debit, credit and debit cards and contactless payments, the requirement and demand for cash will drop even more so, a trend that we are sure will be reflected in the Payment Council’s research in the years to come. ”
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