Almost one in ten UK businesses that handle cash on a daily basis would shut down if customers stopped using notes and coins, according to research commissioned by Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank.
The survey of 531 senior decision-makers in SMEs that handle cash every day found that nine per cent of businesses would have to close their doors for good if customers stopped using cash.
More than one in five (22%) said they would have to make significant changes to their business, and a further eight per cent said the demise of cash would stunt the growth of their company.
Russell Carter, head of cash marketing, Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, says cash continues to be the lifeblood of many businesses: "Many sectors in the UK rely on cash and the UK economy would be hit hard if cash were to disappear and such a large number of companies were to go out of business."
Companies in the transport and travel sector would fare the worst, with 22% of respondents saying the death of cash would have a "disastrous effect" on business, while 40% of companies in hospitality and entertainment would have to make significant changes to their business if customers ditched cash.