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Yes, it is at the moment, with cash being the most popular means of paying for goods and services in 2015!

But debit cards are fast catching up and research shows that on present trends they are likely to overtake cash payments by around 2021.

How about Cheques?

It may surprise you to learn that more than 500 million cheques were written in 2015, surprising banking experts who had predicted that this payment method would soon disappear. However, Payments UK, which represents the industry, said that the 2015 figures still represented a 13% decline on the previous year.

It said the figures showed that cheques are still valued as a means of payment. Cheques had been due to be phased out by 2018, until MPs forced a change of heart by the industry. Banks have promised to keep processing them for as long as necessary. Some banks, such as Barclays, have also introduced ‘cheque imaging’, allowing consumers to take a photograph of a cheque and send it to the bank via their smartphone.

The use of cheques peaked in 1990, when there were more than 4 billion transactions a year. Last year 546 million cheques were written, an average of about 10 cheques per adult per year. The report for Payments UK said that showed that they are still valued as a convenient and secure method of payment by those who choose to use them.

Use of cheques is much higher in the 60 plus age group and is particularly popular as a way of paying for goods and services as well as for family gifts.

Payment Changes Ahead

The newcomer on the block is the contactless card with data from Barclaycard showing that ‘touch and go’ payments increased by 116% over the last 12 months, with increasing demand from retailers.

Discount stores were the sector with the biggest increase, up more than 400%. Gift card shops, petrol stations and pubs also saw significant rises Even some charities are experimenting with using portable terminals to collect donations on the street, according to the UK Cards Association.

Londoners are by far the biggest users of contactless cards, but the provinces are catching up and now one in seven of all card transactions are now contactless, according to figures from the UK Cards Association.

Image of David Jones Shrewsbury Accountant and Founder of Morgan Jones

If you would like more detailed information on some aspect of UK Tax, send me an e-mail and I’ll be pleased to advise further.