UK cash market sees revival, with first time in a decade

UK cash market sees revival, with first time in a decade

The cash market in the UK has seen a revival, with payments being made using notes and coins for the first time in a decade.

The financial sector has experienced a long-term drop in cash use, but UK Finance said the cost of living crisis had prompted many people to turn back to 'tangible' physical money to help them manage their budgets.

The increase in payments made from all methods was attributed to people increasingly making lots of small visits to supermarkets and shopping around more to get good value, rather than doing one big grocery shopping.

In its annual report on the UK payments market, the banking trade body said plastic still ruled the roost in 2022. For the first time, half of all payments in the UK were made using debit cards, while the number of contactless payments rose by 30 percent in a year to 17bn.

The total number of payments increased from 40.4bn in 2021 to £35.6bn in 2020, up from 40.4bn in 2021 and £35.6bn in 2020. UK Finance said it was also due to changes to travel habits linked to hybrid working, with many people now paying for individual journeys rather than buying a season ticket.

The mini-renaissance of notes and coins was the most striking find. Cash payments rose for the first time in a decade last year, rising 7% to reach 6.4bn, despite the fact that many businesses have gone card-only.

The number of people who have been living 'largely cashless lives' - defined as either using no notes or coins at all, or using them only once in a month - has been rising every year for some time and reached 23.1 million in 2021. In 2022, however, the trend reversed, falling to 21.6 million.