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Cashless payments overtake notes and coins


Payments made using cards, cheques and transfers have overtaken the use of notes or coins for the first time ever, according to The Payments Council.

Cashless payments have surged to 52% as the use of cash by consumers, business and financial organisations fell to 48%. Cash volumes are expected to fall by a further 30% over the next 10 years as moves towards debit cards, contactless and mobile payments drive the move away from cash.

Despite the falling levels, cash remained the most popular method of payment among shoppers and businesses in 2014. A total of 18 billion cash payments were made in 2014, totalling about £250 billion. This was followed by debit card, which totalled 24% of payments and direct debits which totalled 10%.

The Payments Council has predicted that among consumers the majority of transactions will be cashless by 2016. This is because younger consumers are less reliant on cash, and advances in technology.

Bank of England (BoE) chief cashier Victoria Cleland, believes cash still has a long future. The BoE will be bringing in a new £1 coin in 2017 and new types of £10 and £5 notes will entered into circulation in 2016. Cleland said:
"Since I started the job I am seeing a growing demand. I am seeing a 46% increase of notes in circulation. I think the proportion of cash transactions is coming down, but I'm still seeing a fairly stable value of cash transactions."

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