Debit cards are set to overtake cash as the most popular payment method in the UK by 2021, according to data compiled by Payments UK.
Cash was still the most popular payment method in 2015 accounting for roughly half (45.1%) of all payments. However it is predicted that by 2025 notes and coins will drop to being used for just over one in four (27%) payments. The tipping point for the most popular payment method will be reached in 2021 when 14.5 billion debit card payments are predicted, overtaking the forecast 13.0 billion cash payments for the first time.
Payments UK also forecasts another landmark in 2025, when credit, debit and charge cards will account for more than half of all payments made (50.2%) - driven in large part by the increasing popularity of contactless.
Focussing solely on payments made by consumers, the average UK adult made 20 card payments per month in 2015, of which around one in 10 were contactless. By 2025, card use is expected to reach 30 transactions per month, over half of which will be contactless.
Continued growth is also predicted in the Faster Payments Service as more consumers move to online and mobile payments. These payments will more than double over the next 10 years, with 1.9 billion one-off and forward-dated payments forecast to be made in 2025.
There were 13% fewer cheques written in 2015 compared to a year earlier, but this still resulted in more than 546 million cheque payments in the year, showing they are still valued as a convenient and secure method of payment.