Cashless, cash user or somewhere in between – ten facts that you should know
Cash has been in steady decline in recent years as many people have turned to different ways of paying. Back in 2006, cash accounted for 62% of payments. It’s predicted that by 2031 this will be down to just 6%.
But that’s still billions of payments, and the people who rely on cash are often some of the most vulnerable people in society.Cash Access UK
In the UK most cash is acquired via the LINK Cash Access and ATM Network, this network connects virtually all the UK’s ATMs and provides communities with access to cash through services such as cash at retailers’ tills and Banking Hubs.
Whether you are cashless, an avid user of cash or somewhere in between here’s ten facts that you need to know.
Weather dampens demand
Thursday needs a heatwave
Daily LINK transactions graph showing Thursdays’ over the last four years – this year currently being washed away in the rain, especially when compared to last year when the heatwave was here in the UK.
The volume of ATM transactions has decreased by 30% (pre-COVID)
Weekly LINK ATM Transaction Volumes – for the week ending 30 July the volume of ATM Transactions decreased by 30% when compared to the final week before the first COVID lockdown.
The volume of ATM transactions has decreased by 9% when compared to the equivalent week in 2022
For the week ending 30 July:
- The volume of ATM transactions increased by 3% when compared to the previous week.
- The volume of ATM transactions decreased by 9% when compared to the equivalent week in 2022.
- The volume of ATM transactions decreased by 8% when compared to the equivalent week in 2021.
Last week there were 31 million ATM transactions
Weekly LINK ATM Transaction Volumes and Values – down on previous years – both affected by the rain.
Balance enquiries account for 30% of transactions
June saw ATM transactions continue to track slightly below last year’s at 3.4% down, although the value of cash withdrawn increased by 1.4% on June 2022, at just over £7 billion.
For 2023 to end June, transactions, which includes 30% balance enquiries, are down 3.9% while values are down only 0.4%, which is as expected.
Monthly LINK ATM transaction values:
The average withdrawal value is almost £83
While the number of ATM transactions has been declining, the value of cash withdrawn has remained very similar to last year as the average value withdrawn each time continues to rise and is now almost £83.
This suggests consumers’ use of cash itself is changing little, even if they are visiting ATMs less often. This is likely to be driven to some degree by inflation, with consumers needing more cash to buy the same basket of goods or a service and any reduction in spending being in purchases they would normally make with a card.
Branch and charging ATMs are seeing the largest reduction in use
Where the changes to LINK transactions come from is not consistent. Branch and charging ATMs are seeing the largest reduction in use, (as branches close and some pay- to-use locations stop needing or generating enough cash). Free non-branch machines in locations like supermarkets, convenience store and shopping centres are seeing the smallest reduction in use.
Total ATM transactions down 5% YoY but the changes are not consistent. Balances down more than withdrawals, branches more than remote and charging a lot more than free.
About 27% of cash is spent in convenience stores
Where have people recently used cash and how has it changed in the last year:
On average very adult withdrew £1,500 from cash machines in 2022
‘Cash is still vital to so many people,’ says Nick Quin, head of financial inclusion at cash machine network Link. ‘Millions of people are choosing new ways to pay but, last year, on average, every adult in the UK still withdrew almost £1,500 from cash machines across the country.’
Given this ongoing reliance and in the absence of any further significant shifts in behaviour we expect to see a similar demand for cash to continue throughout 2023.