New payment methods are unlikely to usurp the popularity of notes and coins for UK consumer purchasers in the near future, according to research commissioned by Alliance & Leicester.
Notes and coins remain far and away the favourite method of payment among the 2000 british adults sampled by RSGB, a division of Taylor Nelson Sofres Group, for the UK bank.
RSGB found that cash has been used by 94% of the population to pay for goods and services in the last 12 months. The runner-up was cheques, used by 60% of respondents.
Cheques appear to be losing out to other methods of payment, though. Whilst the number of cash users is virtually unchanged (95% in 2000 and 94% in 2001), chequebook usage has fallen 5% over the past two years (from 65% in 2000 to 60% in 2002).
In the meantime, credit and debit card usage have both grown by 6% since 2000, to 47% and 49% of payments respectively.
Despite the growth of alternatives to cash, its future seems assured. Sixty per cent of adults think they will use the same amount or even more cash in five years' time.
Just over two-thirds of respondents agree that the main reason for preferring cash to other payment methods is 'keeping control of finances' - rising to nearly three-quarters of over 55 year olds.
The annual survey is conducted on behalf of A&L's commercial banking arm, Girobank - the UK's leading cash handling bank.
Karen Woods, director of sales at Girobank, comments: "Our survey clearly demonstrates that despite the advance of other payment methods, it is still good old notes and coins that people generally favour. Predictions for the demise of cash are, we believe, unfounded with many people even forecasting increased usage in the future."