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It’s official: cash payments are making a comeback and credit card usage continues to fall

There are many examples of cash making a comeback at the point of sale, here are some:

  • a recent survey of their retailer members by the British Retail Consortium showed that, based on over 9.4 billion transactions in shops, cash was used in 5.7% more in 2011 than the previous year, accounting for 58% of all payments. In contrast, the percentage of transactions carried out by card fell by 10.53%. In 2011, debit cards made up 29.1% and credit and charge cards 11%. (By value, cash accounted for 32.03% of 2011 sales, compared to 45.65% for debit cards and 21.47% for credit and charge cards. The slow death of cheques continues, making up only 0.19% of retail sales turnover.)
  • late last year several payment processors in the US reported an increase in cash payments
  • cash in circulation in Europe has risen every year 2002-2009 and now the ratio (EURO Cash/GDP) in Eurozone is now more than twice that of the U.S., mainly due to some large European economies with high cash usage rates (CAPGemini 'World Payments Report 2011').

With the global recession, don't expect cash to disappear any time soon, but do expect credit card and cheque usage to continue to decline.

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