Cash No Longer King in U.K. (May 27, 2015)
The U.K.’s share of electronic payments transaction volume surpassed cash for the first time last year, according to the London-based Payments Council, which tracks payments data for Britain. In 2014, 52 percent of 38.1 billion total U.K. payments were conducted via payment cards, the Internet or telephone, versus 48 percent of transactions conducted in cash. The figures were exactly reversed the previous year. In 2013, 52 percent of U.K. payments were cash-based versus 48 percent occurring via electronic channels, the Payments Council said. The organization forecasts that by 2024, cash will account for 30 percent of transactions, with 70 percent conducted electronically.
Though the data suggest significant gains in noncash payment trends over the last 12 months in the U.K., cash remains the single most popular payment method among consumers, particularly for routine daily payments at newsstands and convenience stores. More than half, or 52 percent, of consumers’ total payments last year were conducted in cash; followed by debit cards at 24 percent; with online, telephone and contactless payments comprising the remainder. Only 5 percent of all payments by businesses were conducted in cash last year in the U.K., according to the organization.