Cash is King
Cash is the preferred method of payment all over the world – over 50 per cent of people prefer to pay with notes and coins1.
Cash – the preferred payment method
Despite predictions that currency as a means of exchange will become obsolete in an increasingly technological world, cash usage remains strong. The alternatives of cheques, cards and electronic payment have not substantially reduced our reliance on cash – as the evidence shows:
- De La Rue Currency's annual survey into opinions about cash and other payment methods shows cash remains the preferred means of payment for 58% of people in the UK, particularly for small-value payments1
- Europeans show a similar preference for cash as a payment method: according to the World Payments Report 2006, the aggregate number and value of ATM cash withdrawals grew at an annual rate of 5.9% and 7.1% respectively from 2000 to 20042
- UK sterling, euro and US dollar currency in circulation continues to increase3
Advantages of cash
Cash is popular, convenient and trusted to serve as a universally-accepted method of payment for a number of reasons:
- Cash is less open to fraud
In 2005, the Bank of England took out of circulation around 505,000 counterfeit banknotes with a total face value of just over £10 million4. In comparison, total card fraud in the UK reached almost £440 million in the same year5.
A 2006 pan-European consumer survey reveals that 11% of adults polled across eight key European countries have had their card details stolen or used without their permission. This equates to around 22.8 million people, or the combined populations of Belgium and Sweden6.
- Cash is quick and direct, allowing person-to-person transactions without the need for a bank account or authorisations
- Cash is free to the public at the point of use
- Cash is anonymous and non-discriminatory
Sources: 1NOP Omnibus banknote survey 2006; 2World Payments Report 2006, ©Capgemini and ABN AMRO; 3Bank of England / European Central Bank / US Federal Reserve System; 4Bank of England; 5APACS; 6ESTA (European Security Transport Association)