Proponents of the cashless society should look away now: New figures from the UK's Link ATM network reveal that consumer demand for cold hard cash shows no signs of abating.
Cash withdrawals from Link's network of over 70,000 ATMs in 2015 amounted to a record £128 billion - made during over two billion visits.
The total number of cash withdrawals only grew slightly in 2015 (by 0.8%) with the value of those withdrawals increasing by 2%. The amount cash machine users withdrew also went up - with the average withdrawal value increasing from £61.25 in 2014 to £61.93 in 2015.
John Howells, Link CEO, comments: “These figures show that cash remains a very important part of our lives here in the UK and is still the most attractive payment option in lots of situations. With the amount of money being withdrawn continuing to increase, it is clear that cash has an important place in our wallets and purses for the foreseeable future."
In a report back from the Mobile World Congress jamboree in Barcelona last week, Consult Hyperion's David Birch, a fully paid-up member of of the 'War on Cash' brigade, bemoaned the dissonance between the futuristic presentations of a cashless utopia on the MWC stands, and the starker realities of life on the streets.
Posting a pic of a long line of people queuing for an ATM, he says: "Twenty years of mobile payments, twenty years of presentations about mobile payments at MWC, twenty years of pilots and trials and tests and MoUs, twenty years of arguing about SIM vs. embedded vs. SE, twenty years of closed-loop and open-loop and three-party and four-party, and there’s a queue a mile long for the ATM because you can’t use your phone to by a metro ticket or ride the bus into town. Where did it all go wrong?"