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Half of transactions in the UK made in cash

Categories : Cash connects people, Cash is the most widely used product
June 2, 2017
Tags : Card payments, Cash, Mobile Payments, United Kingdom
Britons love their cash and 47% of transactions in the UK are carried out in cash despite the growth in contactless card payments and other payment apps.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

The proliferation of payment instruments has prompted questions and predictions over the future of cash. Indeed, consumers showed enthusiasm for the new options offered by digital technologies because of the speed and ease of use that some of these provide. Figures indicate that the value of contactless transactions increased sharply in 2016, and mobile banking apps are spreading rapidly among customers.

Nevertheless, cash remains popular in this new payment landscape. In the United Kingdom, cash accounted for 47% of transactions in 2015, a significant part in view of all the options provided to consumers. Britons are attached to their habits and favour cash in a great number of situations. In addition, a research carried out by Barclaycard indicates that 49% of SMEs are not equipped to accept debit and credit cards. Indeed, neither consumers nor retailers seem to be ready to give up on banknotes. The Bank of England also demonstrated its trust in cash with the new polymer banknotes series that was launched last September with the £5 note.

Unlike the UK, many countries are actively promoting digital payments, sometimes denigrating traditional paper money. Sweden and South Korea are notably striving to become completely cashless in the coming years. Nevertheless, 25% of transactions are still made in cash in South Korea and 20% in Sweden, and the shift imposed by these governments might not be welcomed with open arms by all citizens. Indeed, consumers should always be given the freedom to choose between different instruments and select the most convenient for them, be it tangible or digital.