Apacs reveals faster access cash trend

21 May 2007
Britons are increasingly getting cash fast by withdrawing from an ATM, a study from payments agency Apacs has shown.

Over the last decade, the proportion of cash withdrawals from a 'hole in the wall' almost doubled from 34 per cent in 1996 to 65 per cent in 2006.

Meanwhile, far fewer customers are withdrawing from their accounts using a cheque or passbook, a method which accounted for 61 per cent of cash withdrawals in 1996 but just 23 per cent last year.

The popularity of shop-counter cashback has grown relatively slowly, from eight per cent of withdrawals a decade ago to just 12 per cent in 2006.

But recent developments suggest cash may become a less necessary commodity, as the British banking industry unveils plans to roll out a contactless credit and debit card payment system for sums under £10, obviating small cash payments.

Nevertheless, Apacs' director of communications Sandra Quinn predicted only "a very modest decline" in the use of cash over the next decade thanks to the introduction of technologies such as contactless cards.

Still, the number of card payments will overtake cash payments for the first time in 2014, she forecast.

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