Britons leave cash behind in favour of cards

Kasmira Jefford
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BRITONS have cut back on shopping with cash by 14 per cent over the last five years as people increasingly turn their backs on coins and notes in favour of card and contactless payments.

Cash made up just £27.64 in every £100 spent at retailers in 2013, according to a survey published this morning by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – down sharply from £32.15 five years ago and £27.64 in 2012.

While cash is still used for over half of all transactions by volume (52.57 per cent), this was down 3.3 per cent on 2012 as shoppers increasingly use contactless cards to make smaller payments for which they would have previously used cash.

“The availability of contactless cards, handy express stores and self-service tills as well as online sales has increased the use of debit cards for smaller payments in place of cash,” BRC director general Helen Dickinson said.

The move away from cash means that debit cards now account for £49.58 of each £100 spent, up 11 per cent over the last five years. Meanwhile credit cards and charge cards still account for 21 of sales turnover but were used to buy fewer products last year.

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