Shops say cash is now only the THIRD most popular way to pay for goods

Shops say cash is now only the THIRD most popular way to pay for goods, fuelling fears were are moving to a ‘card-only’ society

  • Cash spending fell from £80.6billion in 2017 to £77.7billion in 2018, figures show
  • Credit card spending took second place over cash with £81.9billion spent
  • £216.4billion was spent on debit cards, according to British Retail Consortium

High street stores say cash has fallen behind debit and credit cards when it comes to till payments.

Cash spending fell from £80.6billion in 2017 to £77.7billion in 2018, figures from the British Retail Consortium reveal.

And the proportion of all retail spending using notes and coins has fallen from a quarter of the value of all purchases to just £1 in every £5 in five years.

The proportion of all retail spending using notes and coins has fallen from a quarter of the value of all purchases to just £1 in every £5 in five years (stock image)

Credit card spending, which carries the risk of interest charges and fees, took second place over cash for the first time with £81.9billion spent, while £216.4billion was spent on debit cards. 

A large number of people are opting for ‘tap and go’ payments and many use smartphone apps.

Banks and retailers say the death of cash is being driven by changing behaviour but consumer groups suggest access to real money – caused by free-to-use cash machines being axed – is a problem.

Gareth Shaw, of Which?, called for ‘legislation that guarantees people can… access [cash] for as long as it is needed’.

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