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Cash tops contactless for 17m Brits

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Cash is still king for 17 million adults, in spite of the increasing use of digital payments.

The Post Office’s Future of Cash study has found that a quarter of adults will be using cash more frequently over the festive season, with many saying it helps them keep spending under control.

Surprisingly, it is the younger generation that plan to increase their use of cash the most, at 36% of 16-24 year olds.

Expenditure averages £870 in the run-up to Christmas. Of the respondents, 33% will use cash for buying presents, 18% for nights out and 14% as a gift for friends and relatives.

Keeping control of spending was cited by 32% of those using cash, with young people particularly conscious of not over-spending. 30% of respondents prefer to have choice in how they make different payments, while 29% just prefer cash.

Martin Kearsley, director of banking services at Post Office, said: “Despite the growth of digital payments, our findings reveal that cash will play an important role during the festive season; from buying gifts at a local fair to paying for the Christmas tree. While discretionary spending with cash is likely to increase over Christmas, 95% of us use cash for everyday essentials through the year.”

The findings echo a recent report from Travelex, which showed an ‘immovable’ 24% of the population who are happy with cash and don’t want to switch no matter what digital payment mechanisms are put in place.

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