In February this year, 60 contactless transactions were carried out every second in the UK – 10.4% more compared to the same period last year, according to UK Cards Association (UKCA). This trend is mostly due to UK consumers being increasingly more comfortable using cards for smaller transactions.
The growing use of contactless payments has not affected cash’s popularity, however. In fact, during the UK’s May Day bank holiday from April 29th to May 2nd, cash withdrawals rose 7% compared to the same period last year. The peak, recorded on Friday April 29th, was of £620 million: £27 million more than in 2015. John Howells, Chief Executive of LINK, attributes this surge to multiple factors: “a mixture of some long overdue good weather, a packed sporting calendar and the extra day off work that many of us enjoy meant that last weekend marked an all-time peak in bank holiday ATM withdrawals.”
Howells predicts that cash has a bright future and that it will continue to evolve in parallel to other payment methods. Indeed, he states, “with the roll-out of new plastic banknotes and the twelve-sided one pound coin on the horizon, we can confidently predict cash is here to stay.”
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