A new report published today shows cash use increased in the UK last year, with consumers and businesses making 20.8 billion cash payments in 2012, compared with 20.6 billion in 2011. This breaks the longer term trend of falling cash volumes year-on-year seen over most of the last decade.
More people are turning to cash exclusively, possibly to help them monitor the amount they are spending on a day-to-day basis. In 2012 7.2 million adults made all of their day-to-day purchases by cash, an increase of around 700,000 compared with 2011.
The cash machine remains the most popular way for people to access their cash. This, coupled with an industry initiative to increase the number of ATMs in deprived areas, has seen the number of cash machines in the UK rise to an all-time high of 66,134. Out of those 46,069 are free-to-use, and 97.2% of withdrawals were from free-to-use machines. On average we withdrew £66 per transaction using debit cards.
David Hensley, Head of Cash at the Payments Council commented: “Cash is still a vital part of our day-to-day lives, and more than half of all our payments are in cash, reflecting its easy use and its wide acceptance. “Information relating to the amount we spend and the way we get hold of our cash is available in UK Cash & Cash Machines, which provides a unique insight into cash use in the UK.”
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