2011 was a record year for cash machine withdrawals in the UK , beating the previous high in 2008.
Figures from the Payments Council show that we used cash machines 2.87 billion times during the year, taking out £191 billion, and the overwhelming majority of these transactions were free.
A report by the body said that usage of cash points increased towards the end of the year, with factors such as snow fall in the first few months of 2011, more £5 notes and people using cash – as opposed to cards – as a way to better budget.
Fewer than one in 30 (2.67%) ATM withdrawals were at a pay-to-use machine in the last three months of 2011, the lowest percentage for seven years.
Cash machines that charge a fee can be found in locations such as shops and pubs, with consumers paying around £1.50 to £2 for the pleasure of withdrawing their own money.
But while we flock to cash points to withdraw funds, the usage of cheques diminished, albeit with millions of clearances still being made daily.
On an annual basis, 12% fewer cheques were cleared in 2011 (682 million) than 2010 (776 million).
Despite this reduction, an average of 2.7 million cheques were still cleared every day in the last three months of 2011, compared to 3.0 million over the same period in 2010.
The Payments Council also reported an increase in the number of people sending money using the 'Faster Payments' initiative which requires funds being transferred in the European Union to reach the recipient's account by the next working day.
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