News & Views - Savantor

The continuing dominance of cash

Monday, 09 June 2014
Two recent reports have confirmed the continuing dominance of cash as a payment method. A new industry report, UK Cash & Cash Machines 2014, underlines the strong role cash continues to play in our society; although cash usage levels are down from last year, there has been minimal change over the past five years with cash remaining popular as a means of payment amongst consumers. During 2013, 52% of all payments were made by cash, equating to 20 billion cash payments and a total of £260billion. In its Payments Survey for 2013, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) also shows that although use of cash is slowly declining, it nevertheless accounts for over 52% of transactions. According to the BRC survey, whilst cash continues to decline in value, number of transactions and average transaction value, it nevertheless retains an important role as it still accounts for 52.57% of transactions, down from 54.35% in 2012. The BRC survey also highlights a continuing growth in the use of debit cards, accounting for 32.37% of transactions, up 7.9% from last year. Debit card use now accounts for 49.58% of retail sales value, up from 48.23% since 2012. The figures for credit and charge cards show that they retain their share of turnover but with fewer transactions, with the percentage in turnover value remaining at around 21% but the share in transactions volumes falling from 10.61% in 2012 to 9.28% in 2013. It seems evident that despite continual speculation about the future of cash and its decline as a means of payment, its use is likely to remain widespread for the foreseeable future. Even taking into account the ongoing emergence of technical alternatives, cash is likely to remain an important method of payment for many consumers.
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