A growing number of consumers and businesses are favouring cash over cards when making everyday transactions, according to a study by the Payments Council.
Around 20.8 billion cash payments were made during 2012, compared with 20.6 billion the previous year, with cash payments accounting for 54% of all transactions.
The number of cash machines, or ATMs, also grew last year to an all-time high. There are now over 66,000 cash machines located across the UK, with the vast majority (46,069) not charging users a fee.
The rise in cash usage is believed to be due to more people adopting a prudent approach to their spending, withdrawing money as and when required rather than splashing out on their cards.
David Hensley, head of cash at the Payments Council, said: "Cash is still a vital part of our day-to-day lives, and more than half of all our payments are in cash, reflecting its easy use and its wide acceptance."
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