With the rise of internet banking, we can now pay bills, buy goods and transfer money at the click of a mouse. But for recession-hit consumers, cash is still king.
According to a report by the Payments Council and Link, which runs cash machines across the country, cold, hard cash is still our preferred method of payment, especially with so many Brits keeping a much closer eye on their finances.
The research revealed that we made 20.8 billion cash payments in 2012, an increase of 200 million on 2011, and 7.2 million adults made all of their day-to-day purchases with cash in 2012, a rise of 700,000 on the previous year.
Despite the banks pushing for more and more electronic purchases with ever-easier methods of paying, cash still pays for 54 per cent of all the nation's buying, a figure that will not be welcomed by the banking industry, for whom cash and cheque payments are considerably more expensive to handle.
According to the Daily Mail, ten years ago the banks were shutting down cash machines, claiming that they were simply too expensive to run. However, there are now a record number of ATMs in the UK, proving that Britons still favour handing over real notes than debit or credit cards.
John Howells, chief executive of Link, told the Mail: "The UK is one of the few European countries whose cash machine network is still growing.
"We are currently seeing an increase in cash withdrawals, but the challenge is to make sure the UK's cash machine network still provides a service that customers want in ten and 20 years' time."
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