UK payments in transition to digital: Why cash, branches and ATMs still matter


More than a decade into the digital revolution, the majority of Britons still feel more comfortable with the option to pay by cash or card, though digital wallets and other “alt” payment methods are making inroads into card and cash use.UK consumers still use ATMs and bank branches and want to see them as part of the fabric of society, though in the latter case Britons prefer the option of a branch network for emergencies, occasional use and as security for elderly or vulnerable consumers.

While there are regional differences in these findings, perhaps the most pronounced difference unveiled by the research is the gap between young people’s attitudes and that of older generations. Around two-thirds of the 18-34 generation trust digital wallets and use them, while fewer than one in five of those aged over 55 either trust or use wallets.

Proportionally, older consumers are set to form a larger part of the UK population in the decades ahead. This being the case, we set out a number of conclusions and recommendations for banks and payments companies based around a continuing role for both cash and cards over the next 5-10 years.

Banks and payments firms active across Europe will find the trends outlined in this report repeated in other European markets. In recent years, Norway and Sweden have mandated access to cash services and ATMs in law with the UK following suit in May 2022. We expect such legislation to be repeated in other European markets in the next few years.

While banks, merchants and payment service providers must prepare for a future with a wide range of payment methods, that future is going to include a significant role for both cash and payment cards. This report sets out strategies firms can adopt to handle their cash management responsibilities and an ATM estate profitably and efficiently.

Download report here



26 Jun 2022





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