Although some retailers are sticking with card payments only for now, increasing numbers of people are returning to cash.
More people are now making cash withdrawals and using this money to pay for goods and services. Paying with physical money can help keep of spending and sticking to budgets amid a background of rising prices.
The Post Office handled £801m personal cash withdrawals in July – a record figure and an 8% increase on the month before. The Post Office said this change in behaviour suggested that the cost
of living was impacting the way people manage their money.
It coincides with the rapid rise in food prices and energy costs and seems to suggest that we are still some years away from switching to a cashless society.
Impact of the pandemic
This recent uptick comes after years of declining cash payments. Figures show that since 2017 the use of cash for payments has fallen by around 15% a year, with a marked drop in 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Many businesses switched to card-only payments to avoid handling notes or coins with the potential of spreading the virus.
Of course, most shops and businesses do accept both, but some have continued not to accept cash, for either convenience or security reasons.
More people may be relying on cash, but it is worth bearing in mind that businesses do not have to accept cash payments, and are not in fact breaking any rules or regulations by only requesting payments by card.