Cash use in the UK increased last year, breaking the longer-term trend of falling cash volumes year-on-year seen over most of the last decade.
The UK Payments Council says consumers and businesses made 20.8 billion cash payments in 2012, compared with 20.6 billion in 2011.
The Payments Council says more people are turning to cash exclusively, possibly to help them monitor the amount they are spending on a day-to-day basis. In 2012, 7.2 million adults made all of their day-to-day purchases by cash, an increase of around 700,000 compared with 2011.
The data is at odds with recent figures published by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) which found cash usage as a percentage of sales turnover was down 10% in 2012 compared to the previous year.
The Payments Council says its figures comprise of and analyse industry wide statistics and annual market research with a nationally-representative group of consumers. "Therefore our statistics may differ from statistics recently published by the British Retail Consortium, who only consider retail spending data provided by its members."
The cash machine remains the most popular way for people to access their cash, with consumers withdrawing an average £66 per transaction. This, coupled with an industry initiative to increase the number of ATMs in deprived areas, has seen the number of cash machines in the UK rise to an all-time high of 66,134.
The figures chime with a study produced by Market Platform Dynamics last week, which indicated that the consumer love affair with notes and coins will continue unabated for at least another decade, with cash usage remaining on an upward curve in many developed and developing countries.
David Hensley, head of cash at the Payments Council comments: "Cash is still a vital part of our day-to-day lives, and more than half of all our payments are in cash, reflecting its easy use and its wide acceptance."