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[LONDON] The majority of financial transactions in Britain were made without cash in 2014, the first time cash has been less widely used than alternatives, the Payments Council said on Thursday.
The Payments Council, which represents Britain's payments industry, said the total number of cash payments made by consumers, businesses and financial organisations in Britain fell to 48 per cent last year from 52 per cent in 2013.
That reflected a steady trend towards using automated payment methods and payment cards rather than notes and coins, the body said.
However, cash remained the preferred means of paying for goods by individual consumers, the data showed, with 52 per cent of transactions being made with cash.
The Payments Council said that figure is expected to drop below 50 per cent next year but there is no expectation that cash will disappear entirely.
Meanwhile, data from Link, which runs Britain's network of cash machines, showed that the number of cash machines in Britain increased to a record 69,382 last year, with nine out of 10 Britons withdrawing cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) each month.