Use of cash falls dramatically as COVID-19 crisis deepens

A combination of the UK government’s decision to essentially lockdown the UK and the continued switch to contactless payments, has led to the UK’s use of cash halving halving in the past few days according to research by  Link, operator of the UK’s biggest ATM network. 

The company underlined that it remains crucial the government ensures there are measures to enable those that rely on cash to continue to gain access to it through the COVID-19 crisis. 

The firm stated: “Consumers’ ATM and cash use has fallen significantly, by around 50%, over the past few days and this is likely to continue as people move to follow the prime minister’s instructions to stay at home.” 

It comes as the limit for contactless payments increases from £30 to £45 nationally, following the advice of the World Health Organisation urging people to utilise contactless payments whenever possible. 

The increased focus on contactless payments led to the following statement from Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance: “The payments industry has been working closely with retailers to be able to increase the contactless payment limit to help customers with their shopping at this critical time for the country.

“This will give more people the choice to opt for the speed and convenience of purchasing goods using their contactless card, helping to cut queues at the checkout.

“The industry continues to work closely with the government and regulators to support customers impacted by Covid-19 and ensure that they can pay in a way that suits them.”