Plastic is set to overtake cash this year as the UK's most popular method of payment says industry body Apacs.
According to the latest statistics from Apacs, debit cards are leading a trend which means that in 2004, for the first time, plastic card payments will outstrip cash payments for goods and services.
The watershed comes after a year in which the number of plastic cards in use grew by 13 million (nine per cent) to 160.6 million, accounting for £243.9 billion of spending. Debit cards accounted for two-thirds of plastic card transactions (64.9%) and more than half of expenditure on plastic (£130.5 billion).
This year, total plastic card use, if business card usage is included, is expected to top £269 billion, against a predicted £268 billion of cash payments. In 2005, it is expected that personal plastic card usage alone will overtake cash payments, says Apacs.