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UK turns to cash to combat cost of living increase

Last week, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, Link, published data relating to the cost of living. It focused on how people are managing their individual financial situations and how things are changing in response to increased cost of living. Everything is becoming more and more expensive and the research is a highly useful tool to understand how consumers are responding.

Perhaps most interesting to those in the cash in transit industry is the move away from digital payment methods. One in ten of those surveyed said they plan to use contactless payments less and 9% said they would use cash more often. The reasons cited for this development are majorly attributed to better budgeting. 63% of those who said they would use contactess less frequently, claimed that they would do so in order to get a better idea of how much they are spending.

Continuing in a similar vein, 53% of the same group said that moving away from contactless would help them spend less and 57% said it would help with budgeting. It is obvious from these responses that people are finding it difficult to keep track of their outgoings using digital methods. Oftentimes it is so easy to tap a phone or card and there isn’t even a reference or mention of the actual sum involved in the transaction. People need to be increasingly disciplined when it comes to contactless spending and this isn’t easy for everyone.

When it comes to cash, the research also revealed that almost 7 in 10 of us (68%) have used cash in the past two weeks. Worryingly, the findings also revealed that people are still facing barriers when it comes to using cash. Nearly a quarter of people said they wanted to use cash but were unable to due to the establishment either disallowing or discouraging cash payments. 

This research carried out in June is extremely interesting and comes at a time when discussions around the availability of cash and its use are more prevalent than ever. It highlights the role cash pays when it comes to individual budgeting and the importance it still carries in our day to day lives.

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