New report shows cash still dominates
A new industry report, UK Cash & Cash Machines 2014 confirms the strong role cash continues to play in our society.
Although cash usage levels are down from last year, there has been little change over the past five years with cash remaining as popular as ever amongst consumers. Part of the reason for this may be that people have been using cash to help them monitor their day-to-day spending – helping them budget effectively during the economic downturn of the past few years.
Cash remains our most commonly used payment method and last year 20 billion cash payments were made, representing 52% of all payments in the UK. That amounted to a total of £260bn.
The ATM remains the most popular method for us to get hold of our cash. At the end of 2013 not only were there more ATMs than ever before, but never have so many of them been free to use. At the end of the year there were 67,963 ATMs (up 2.8% on 2012), and 48,012 of those were free to use (an increase of 4.2% since 2012.) 98% of the total number of withdrawals were made from free to use ATMs, an increase of 1%. On average we withdrew £66 per visit. The increase follows continued industry efforts to install ATMs in deprived areas and actively increase the number of free-to-use-ATMs.
David Hensley, head of Cash Services commented: “Despite speculation on declining cash use the reality is that the majority of our everyday purchases are still made in cash, particularly for low value items. Clearly customers need and want cash as much as ever.
“Our role is largely behind the scenes, helping to keep the cash wheels turning and supporting our members and their customers, the Bank of England and The Royal Mint. Cash is important to people and we need to make sure that it is fit for the next generation.”
John Howells, LINK CEO commented: “Access to cash is vital for the majority of UK consumers and LINK is committed to providing a convenient and safe national network of cash machines to support this need. Continued investment and innovation in the ATM network is a priority for LINK to develop this important national service.”
UK Cash & Cash Machines 2014 is published by the Payments Council in conjunction with Cash Services and LINK ATM Scheme. It includes statistics on how, where and how frequently we get our cash, as well as forecasts for how cash use will change over the next ten years.