Home and Away, Brits Use Cash

calendar iconJul 14, 2021

Two-thirds of Britons planning to travel within the next two years will take cash with them, and at home more than half are still using cash on a weekly basis, according to new research.

The 2021 Travel Money Industry Report from market intelligence company Mintel shows the British public strongly prefers cash to other payment methods when paying for goods and services abroad. The report found an unsurprising 78 percent fall in the value of overseas spending in 2020, and predicts spending will return to growth over the next five years, with expenditure forecast to treble between 2020 and 2022.

Karen Gee, Marketing and Business Development Director at Spendology—a UK travel cash service—notes that while there has been a shift towards contactless and card payments at home, this has not been reflected in people’s plans for their holidays abroad.

Brits still firmly [choose] travel cash over every other form of payment.
"Karen GeeMarketing and Business Development DirectorSpendology

Contrary to the vision of an increasingly-cashless country, within the UK, cash is still used by a majority on a weekly basis, according to separate research from financial and retail technology company Diebold Nixdorf. This reinforces the importance of ensuring access to cash as lockdown restrictions ease and domestic spending increases.

Cash usage was found to be fairly consistent across age groups, with 61 percent of those aged 55+ reporting they had used cash in the past week, compared with 56 percent of 35–54s and 46 percent of 18–35s. Only 13 percent of people said they had not paid using cash within the past month.

Matt Phillips, VP and Head of Financial Services UK & Ireland at Diebold Nixdorf notes these results point to the importance of preserving payment choice and access to cash to ensure that, as people return to shops, pubs and restaurants, they can decide freely how to pay.

It is evident cash still plays a huge role in the lives of many across the country and will do long into the future. Supporting access to cash and banking services for consumers and businesses remains a focus for the industry post-lockdown.
"Matt PhillipsVP and Head of Financial Services UK & IrelandDiebold Nixdorf
Last Updated: Jul 13, 2021