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Customer Behaviour

Coronavirus will hasten the decline in the use of cash as people make a long-term switch to digital payments, experts say. The lockdown has led to a 60% fall in the number of withdrawals from cash machines, although people are taking out bigger sums.

Payment card use has risen with online shopping, particularly for groceries.

Experts say the long-term future of cash could be at risk, before the UK is ready to cope with the change. This could leave behind an estimated 20% of the population who rely on cash, they say.

About 11 million cash withdrawals are still being made each week, with £1bn taken out, according to Link, which oversees the UK’s cash machine network.

Yet, with many shops as well as bars, cafes and restaurants closed, there is less demand for regular cash withdrawals. People are going out less, but potentially hoarding more cash. The average ATM withdrawal has risen from £65 last year, to £82 now.

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