UK consumers turning to debit cards as cash alternative, figures show

An increasing number of UK consumers have been turning to their debit cards in order to make purchases instead of resorting to carrying cash, according to new figures recently released by the Payments Council.

The regulatory body, which is responsible for strategic decisions in regards to payments systems in the UK, additionally reported that since cash withdrawals have been declining, the amount of ATMs currently available throughout Britain has also fell.

For the months of April, May and June of this year, cash machine withdrawals fell by £1.6 billion, a 3.2 per cent drop, while the number of ATMs declined by 440 from their 2009 levels reported the Payments Council.

Additionally, chequebooks are soon to be a collector’s item; the use of cheques has also fallen off as well, prompting the Council to name the 31st of October of 2018 the end date for payments made by cheque.

The system, which has been in place in the UK for over three and a half decades, has been in decline for several years; the Council reported that since 2004, cheque usage has fallen in excess of 40 per cent.

Sandra Quinn, the Payments Council’s director of communications, released a statement in which she commented on the recently released figures.  Ms Quinn stated that while it has become more and more prevalent to see cash not being used in regards to when an easier alternative is present, but the possibility of cash not remaining in fashion in some form or another is something that doesn’t need to be worried about for several years at least.

Industry experts agree,  saing that there will most likely always be a place for cash transactions in the UK and abroad, even if its role is diminished in the future to any degree.

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