Bank of England issues new £20 note - APACS gives an overview of Britons' use of cash
To coincide with the Bank of England's launch today (13 March) of a new £20 note featuring economist Adam Smith, APACS - the UK payments association – gives an overview of how we use cash and how this has changed in recent years. APACS figures show that although plastic card payments are increasingly popular, Britons show no signs of abandoning cash any time soon.
Cash still accounts for more than six in ten (63 per cent) of all day-to-day payments by volume, and the £20 note is one of the most popular denominations of them all – accounting for 66 per cent of all notes dispensed by British cash machines in the last quarter of 2006.
Cash is particularly popular for low-value payments – over 96 per cent of all payments under £5 in value were made with cash in 2006. Retailers are the biggest recipients of our cash, despite the ongoing migration to cards from cash and cheques. About six out of ten of all personal cash transactions by volume are made in retailers. Cash is also heavily used on buses, in pubs and clubs and to pay for meals out or take -aways - eight in ten of all payments in the travel and entertainment sectors are made by cash.
In terms of the changing trends in our use of cash, 2004 was a landmark year when card payments overtook cash by value for the first time. Although the move from cash to plastic cards has been rapid – as recently as 1999 we spent more than £100 billion more in cash than on cards – we still spend over £270 billion each year in cash.