Report suggests payments by card are ‘now more popular than using cash’


A report published by trade association UK Finance has revealed that, by the end of 2017, more payments were made using debit cards, at 13.2 billion payments, than payments made using cash, which totalled 13.1 billion payments.

According to UK Finance’s annual Payment Market Review, the number of debit card payments increased by 14% last year when compared to the previous year, while the use of cash as a form of payment fell by 15% in 2017 when compared to 2016.

However, UK Finance found that cash remains the second most popular choice of payment over direct debits, credit cards, standing orders, BACS and cheques.

Contactless technology, such as cards, online shopping and payments made from smartphones, has helped to drive the increase in card payments, particularly amongst those aged between 24 and 35, UK Finance revealed.

Experts predict that the trend of using contactless technology to make payments will continue over the next decade. In addition, some anticipate that debit card payments will increase to 19.7 billion in 2027.

Commenting on the findings, Stephen Jones, Chief Executive of UK Finance, said: ‘The choice of payment options available in the UK is allowing people to choose to pay the way that best suits them. But we’re far from becoming a cash-free society, and despite the UK transforming to an economy where cash is less important than it once was, it will remain a payment method that continues to be valued and preferred by many.’