Study: Cash use dips in UK, debit purchase on rise

This year in Britain, debit cards will surpass cash as consumers' preferred method of payment — especially in cities.

This is according to data from U.K. Finance — cited in a report by the Guardian — that says the percentage of purchases made with cash fell from 62 percent to 40 percent within the 10-year span between 2006 and 2016.

U.K. Finances expects that number to continue its decline, with cash accounting for 21 percent of purchases by 2026.

In particular, the data indicate a steep decline in cash withdrawals from ATMs between 2010 and 2016, the Guardian said. Between 2015 and 2016, the amount of cash withdrawn from U.K. ATMs shrank by approximately 6 billion pounds ($8.4 billion).

But the presumption that cash is on its way out is not without its skeptics — a spokesman for Vaultex, a company that handles approximately third of cash in the U.K., said that based on his observation of the business, the idea that Britain was abandoning cash was "greatly exaggerated."


Topics: Mobile Payments


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