For the first time, debit cards have overtaken cash to become the number one payment method in the UK, according to data collected by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Last year, the share of debit card payments grew by 4.5% to almost 43% of all retail transactions. In contrast, cash saw a 4.9% shrinkage in its share of retail purchases to account for 42%. With credit and charge card transaction volumes growing slightly, for the first time more than half of all retail purchases were made using plastic.
The BRC puts the increasing use of cards down to a number of factors, with one of the biggest being the rise of contactless payments and another the growing number of retailers that have invested in technology to accept new payment applications both online and in-store.
Investments are also being made to ensure cash users are catered to. Some £30 million was spent by retailers last year on preparing for the new plastic £5 note, with more costs coming this year when the new £1 coin comes online.
Disclaimer: Statements in this article should not be considered investment advice, which is best sought directly from a qualified professional.