The Payments Council in the United Kingdom released a report Monday that contradicts what a British Retail Consortium study found recently about the use of cash in 2012. The council report suggests consumers’ use of cash as the primary payment instrument increased in 2012 while the BRC stated it decreased 10 percent.
Consumers and businesses made 20.8 billion cash payments in 2012, up 0.2 billion from 2011. The council suggests in the report the rise in cash payments is due in part to greater budgeting controls that accompany cash as a payment instrument.
The council’s report also examined the ATM market and found there are more than 66,000 machines scattered across the UK. Consumers conducted more than 97% of all transaction at surcharge-free machines.
From the council:
“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,” said John Howells, CEO of the LINK ATM Network.
It is not surprising UK consumers seek greater value in budgeting control as economic uncertainty in Europe makes its way to the region. This control, however, also can be accomplished with debit and prepaid cards. Though the council and BRC offer different finding on cash use in the UK, it remains clear cash is still a dominant form despite success stories from contactless and other payment types.
Click here to read more from the Payments Council.