Debit card usage surges in UK

| December 3, 2010 | 0 Comments

The UK Payments Council, the body which oversees the strategy on payments systems, has said debit card usage has surged in the last year.

For the first time ever, consumers are opting to use their debit cards more than coins and notes, figures revealed today.

According to the Payments Council, spending on debit cards totalled £272 billion in the year to the end of September, compared to £269 billion in cash.

The figures reflect the fact that the UK is heading for a cashless society and experts forecast that cash usage will continue to fall.

There are now 43.1 million debit card holders in Britain - up from 40 million four years ago.

In addition, usage of cheques continue to decline with 104 million fewer cheques written during the 12 months to the end of September compared to the same period in the previous year.

The UK Payments Council voted to phase out cheques on 31 October 2018, but stated at the time that cheques will not be phased out until an “accessible and acceptable” alternative payment system is introduced.

Meanwhile, commenting on today’s figures, Sandra Quinn of the Payments Council said: “Cash is too cumbersome for many consumers these days - they prefer a card for anything more than the smallest transactions.

“We now expect our debit cards to be accepted everywhere we go - in pubs and clubs, at the corner shop, online and on the High Street.”

Finally, withdrawals from ATMs fell slightly.

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