Consumers prefer cards but cash still in demand, says PSR

Nearly 70% of UK cardholders prefer to pay for their shopping by card, although over 80% also use cash to buy items.

These are the key conclusions of the latest ‘Access to Cash’ paper published by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), which states that there is still a need and demand for cash across the United Kingdom.

The regulator commissioned BritainThinks to ask 1,590 consumers and 542 small businesses from across the United Kingdom how they use and accept cash. The  conclusion from this is that, even though people are increasingly choosing other ways to pay, offering cash as a transaction method remains very important to us in the United Kingdom. 

Nearly 30% of people stated they prefer using cash, with over half of those saying it’s particularly important when planning their financial needs. The vast majority stated they find it easy to withdraw or access cash.

However, 16% stated they need to travel out of their way to obtain cash, with many stating a journey to an ATM as part of their normal routine.

Chris Hemsley, co-managing director of the PSR, commented: “Cash continues to play an important role in our economy, and while the use of digital payments is growing, most of us still make regular use of cash.” 

He added that the survey shows ”the importance placed on being able to access cash by those who rely on it to help them budget and who do not have access to other payment options”.

Most small independent businesses stated they deposit cash in to a bank, while 54% said they accept cash – this rises to 91% in accommodation and the hospitality industry. Only 13% stated they prefer cash to card and alternative payment methods, although they acknowledged their choice of payment options is strongly influenced by what their customers want.

The research is part of a much bigger study into consumers’ use of cash and builds on work by the likes of The Treasury, Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority.  

The PSR said it will continue to work closely with the other regulators, industry and consumer groups, and it welcomes feedback to the findings of its latest report.

Last year, cash machine network LINK said around 500 ATMs closed each month between December 2017 and May 2018

The information contained in the above has been extracted from Essential Retail