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Brits Have Mostly Traded Cash, Checks for Debit Cards, Survey Finds

Only one in 20 British workers receive their pay in cash and by 2018, one in four of all transactions will be on a debit card, the Payments Council says.

In a report published yesterday, "The Way We Pay 2010," the Payments Council reported what it calls a "payments revolution" in "the noughties." "The last decade not only saw the rise of internet banking and shopping but it was also the decade where cards took control of our wallets as cheques and cash were increasingly replaced by a card " particularly the debit card," the group wrote in a statement.

Notably, cash spending in pubs dropped from 90% in 1999 to 40% in 2009; the group expects only 25% of Brits to pay for their lager in the Queen's coin in 2018. Personal transactions using checks have dropped from 6% to 2% over the decade, and the Payments Council expects them to be a mere 0.8% of personal transactions in 2018.

Mike Bowman, head of policy and markets at the Payments Council commented in a statement: "More and more people have opened bank accounts in the last ten years, and fewer and fewer have jobs in manufacturing where a weekly wage packet is more common. As a result far fewer of us get wages cash-in-hand. The million-strong migration of Eastern Europeans to the UK in the mid 2000s may well have slowed the decline. Many of these newcomers may have initially earned cash, often sending it back to their families but as they either returned home or settled permanently, and opened bank accounts, cash has fallen back again."

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