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UK card payments outperform cash

Monday 18 June 2018 | 01:48 PM CET

UK Finance has released a report showing that debit card payments have overtaken cash use for the first time.

In 2017, debit card payments increased by 14%, amounting to a total of 13,2 billion transactions, outstripping the 13.1 billion cash payments made, as the use of notes and coins dropped by 15%.

It is estimated that 3.4 million UK consumers hardly used cash at all during 2017.

The annual report into the way consumers make payments revealed that the UK is a nation of spontaneous spenders. Only 15% of the 38.8 billion payments made in the UK in 2017 were for regular bills and commitments.

These purchases have increasingly been made using contactless technology, when cards are placed on or near a reader without the need to enter a personal four-digit number.

The frequency of contactless payments almost doubled in a year to 5.6 billion payments in 2017. This was most commonly used in supermarkets, but card suppliers say that public transport and car parking have also become regular spots for the use of contactless cards.

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