Cashless overtakes cash for the first time in the UK, says new research

Cashless payment phone
Share this article

Research from trade association UK Finance has said almost two-thirds of people in the UK are now using contactless, with 13.2 billion card payments in 2017 overtaking cash payments (13.1 billion) for the first time.

Cash is still the second most frequently used payment method, accounting for 34% of all payments in 2017, but that figure is expected to fall to 16% (6.4 billion) of all transactions in the UK by 2027.

While many operators feel a shift to contactless is inevitable, cash payments still make up a huge proportion of UK payments.

“We’re far from becoming a cash-free society and despite the UK transforming to an economy where cash is less important than it once was,” said Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance. “It will remain a payment method that continues to be valued and preferred by many,”

“The choice of payment options available in the UK is allowing people to choose to pay the way that best suits them.”

He added: “These trends are likely to shift further over the next decade. Developments such as open banking are expected to bring extensive changes to the payments landscape, something that will likely shape how we interact with our money in the coming years.”

Research showed that in 2017 the average adult in the UK made 54 payments per month, with 20 with debit card, 20 with cash and nine contactless.

Share this article