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Customers are using less cash than ever before

Published: 2 June 2014
As retailers make it more convenient for customers to pay, research by the British Retail Consortium finds that cash use is down 14% over the last five years.
Customers are using less cash than ever before
Published today, the BRC's Retail Payments Survey 2013 covers approximately 60% of all UK retail sales made last year and details how customers paid for goods.

The BRC found that the number of transactions made by cash still remains high at 53%, although this figure dropped by 3% from 2012.

But, in terms of the value of cash taken by retailers as a proportional share to all other payments, this figure has fallen by 14% over the last five years.

While cash payments appear to be on the decline, the BRC found that the availability of contactless cards, self-service tills and online sales has contributed to the increased use of debit cards, as the method now accounts for 32% of all transactions made.

Over the last five years the use of debit cards has grown by 11%.

The use of credit cards on the other hand has fallen by 6% over the last five years, but in 2013 credit cards retained their share of turnover value at 21%.

This suggests that customers are using credit cards less, but for more considered purchases on higher value items.

Commenting on the findings, Director general of the BRC, Helen Dickinson, said: "Cash use down 14% in the last five years is a milestone in the development of our digital economy.

"It shows that customers are embracing digital shopping whether online or on the high street and retailers are adapting and evolving to meet the demand with excellent services. However, it is important to note that cash still remains dominant in the overall number of transactions."


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