Card payments will overtake cash in the next decade

New figures suggest the next 10 years will see a continuing shift in the way consumers spend, as well as plastic overtaking cash

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The number of transactions using cash is expected to decline from 21bn in 2012 to 14bn in 2022, the Payments Council said.

Meanwhile, the use of consumer cards is set to rise from 10bn to 17bn, driven primarily by the increasing use of e-commerce as well as contactless cards at shop counters, it is predicted.

Mobile payments are also expected to increase with the introduction of new technology to make account-to-account transfers using only a phone number and the use of mobile device apps to replace card usage.

However, the staying power of supposedly obsolete forms of payment is illustrated by the use of the cheque, with reports of its demise apparently proving exaggerated.

They are forecast to be used in 341m transactions in 2022, including 186m by consumers.

It is a decline of more than half on 2012's 848m cheques – and is a fraction of the 4bn in 1990 – but means they will continue to enjoy a significant degree of use four years after they were due to be scrapped.

Direct debit use is forecast to grow by 20% to around 3.7bn payments in 2022, driven by increased uptake in regular commitments including mortgages, household bills and wage payments.

One-off payments from accounts, driven by the use of mobile and internet banking, are expected to grow from 356m to around 1.5bn.

In 2012, 32.5m people accessed their bank accounts using a "remote channel", with around 10m doing so using a mobile device.

Nearly 40m people bought goods or services online last year, mainly using cards.

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