Accenture reports cash remains popular in the UK

Monday 12 December 2022 15:25 CET | News

Accenture has carried out a survey which highlights that the second most popular payment method amongst UK-based consumers is cash.


Having surveyed more than 3,000 adults, the poll found that an approximate of two-thirds (63%) of the respondent population uses cash for a minimum of five times on a monthly basis, second only to debit cards, which are used more than five times a month by three-quarters (75%) of British people. In comparison to digital wallets of the likes of Apple Pay and Google Pay, cash is significantly more widely spread, with the usage of the former payment methods accounting for 17% and 10% respectively at the same frequency. 

Survey findings on cash usage and other payment methods in the UK

When it comes to small ticket purchases for retail or services of the likes of groceries, clothing, transport, the most popular in-person payment methods were cash (33%) and debit cards (36%), as opposed to digital wallets, which were used by less than one in 10 (6%). For big ticket purchases such as appliances, technology, travel, respondents displayed a preference for credit cards (41%) and debit cards (38%).

Furthermore, UK-based consumers have been shown as being amongst the world’s top ‘tappers’, with over four in five (83%) tapping to pay when using their debit cards, a significantly increased usage when compared with the 58% global average or the 26% one in the US; Australia is the only market that comes close to the UK from this perspective, with the region having the same 83% tap to pay usage preference. 

Furthermore, when it comes to future expectations, over a third of UK-based consumers (36%) believe that biometrics will be widely used by 2025. When it comes to using it as their primary in-person payment method, 7% have stated that they are willing to do so should it be available by 2025, translating that an estimate of GBP 95 billion of UK payments is to move to biometrics by 2025.

Accenture has carried out a survey which highlights that the second most popular payment method amongst UK-based consumers is cash.

Additionally, the research highlights that consumer’s payment choices are influenced by external macroeconomic factors, with people looking to reduce debt interest by switching to other payment methods, as considered by two in ten credit card users. More than 60% of the respondents are also looking into ways to reduce interest payments through means of non-interest payment options of the likes of debit cards and cash. 

As per information provided in the company’s press release, the ‘Payments Gets Personal’ study found that up to GBP 366 million of UK payment revenues could face risk in the next three years as traditional lenders are slow when it comes to investing in next-generation payments options, and they risk having market share lost to new digital payment providers. Accenture officials have stated that although the UK’s transition towards a ‘cashless society’ has been believed an inevitability, cash remains the preferred payment method for consumers in the region, who rely on its accessibility, convenience, and ability to budget in the current ‘high inflation macro-economic climate’. Lenders are challenged to create a balance, as there is a clear untapped revenue potential in the switch to next-generation payments options, with British consumers having made clear a belief that biometric will become the preferred payment method in the future.

Survey methodology

The findings of the research were taken from Accenture’s 2022 Global Consumer Payments study, with the company having surveyed 16,000 customers in 13 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America, with the fieldwork having taken place between 10 August - 19 September 2022. For the GBP 366 million payments revenue-at-risk figure, the company leveraged the proprietary Consumer Survey responses and GlobalData to reach an estimate of the revenue pools for in-person card payments and total online payments, with the model having included the forecast and scenario analysis.

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Keywords: research, survey, payments , payment methods, cash, debit card, credit card, Tap-to-Pay, ecommerce, biometrics
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Accenture
Countries: United Kingdom
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Payments & Commerce


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