Revealed: Cash eclipsed as Britain turns to digital payments

, and – February 19, 2018

Britain will move beyond “peak cash” this year, according to data gathered by the Guardian that suggests notes and coins are rapidly being supplanted as the favoured payment method, particularly in cities.

Debit cards are set to overtake cash as the most frequently used payment method in the UK later this year, according to UK Finance, which represents leading finance and banking firms.

The volume of cash removed from cash machines (ATMs) is falling fast, while other data shows customers are eschewing cash for cards – even for small purchases such as a coffee or a beer.

In 2006, 62% of all payments in the UK were made using cash; in 2016 the proportion had fallen to 40%. By 2026, it is predicted cash will be used for just 21%, according to figures from UK Finance.