By Richard Hall

The rise of plastic payment

The British Retail Consortium has reported that cards were used to pay for £277.1bn of goods in 2017, accounting for 76% of all retail sales. UK Finance has also confirmed that debit card payments overtook cash use for the first time last year, with 13.2 billion transactions against 13.1 billion cash payments over the same period.

Factors which have influenced the rise of plastic include consumers using their cards for lower-value transactions and the rise of ‘contactless’ payments (of which there were 5.6 billion payments in 2017), with young consumers aged between 25 and 34 being most likely to shun cash and opt for plastic.