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Cash use in the UK increases

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More than half of all payments in the UK last year were made with cash, with consumers and businesses making 20.8 billion cash payments in 2012, up from 20.6 billion the previous year.

In 2012 7.2 million adults made all of their day-to-day purchases by cash, an increase of around 700,000 compared with 2011, according to a report by the Payments Council in conjunction with LINK and The UK Cards Association.

The cash machine remains the most popular way for people to access their cash. This, coupled with an industry initiative to increase the number of ATMs in deprived areas, has seen the number of cash machines in the UK rise to an all-time high of 66,134.

Out of those 46,069 are free-to-use, and 97.2% of withdrawals were from free-to-use machines. On average Brits withdrew £66 per transaction using debit cards.

David Hensley, head of cash at the Payments Council said:
“Cash is still a vital part of our day-to-day lives, and more than half of all our payments are in cash, reflecting its easy use and its wide acceptance.”

John Howells, CEO of the LINK ATM Network said:
“The UK is one of the few European countries whose cash machine network is still growing. We are currently seeing an increase in cash withdrawals, but the challenge is to make sure the UK’s cash machine network still provides a service that customers want in 10 and 20 years’ time.”