Cash usage rises as result of cost-of-living crisis

08 Dec 2023

The ongoing cost-of-living crisis has driven individuals to use cash more frequently, research carried out by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has suggested.

According to the BRC, many UK households use cash as a way to help budget. Its research showed that the number of transactions rose from 17.2 billion in 2021 to 19.6 billion in 2022.

The data revealed that cash usage rose for the first time in a decade, accounting for 19% of all transactions. Card payments were used for 76% of all transactions, the BRC stated.

The average transaction value fell from £24.49 to £22.43, the research found, as a result of individuals shopping around and making more regular but smaller purchases.

Commenting on the research, Hannah Regan, Payments Policy Adviser at the BRC, said: 'We are now seeing a return to many of the pre-pandemic trends in payments, including smaller but more frequent purchases, and a slight return of cash payments.

'Unfortunately, what has not changed, is the ever-increasing scale of fees paid by retailers in order to accept card payments.

'Though alternative payment methods could provide much needed competition to the market, the dominance of card payments means it is essential that action is taken to prevent fees rising further.' 

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