YouGov report reveals only 3% of Brits never use cash

18 August 2023

A recent survey from YouGov has shown that much of the British public is opposed to the UK becoming a cashless society and has found overwhelming support for cash as a valid payment method in the wake of a worrying number of businesses currently refusing to accept it.

The survey, published in mid-July of 2023, found:

  • Just 3% of the British public NEVER use cash.
  • 69% of people in Britain oppose us becoming a cashless society – with only 12% of people in favour of it.
  • The majority of the British public (71%) would support making it a legal requirement for businesses in the UK to accept cash.

The results prove a real commitment to cash from the British public, and while alternative payment methods still remain popular, the fact that 97% of the UK still uses cash and wants to continue using it and that a huge chunk of the population would support a new law making it illegal to be cashless should be making businesses stand up and listen to public demand.

These latest findings add further credence to other industry research from recent years, including the 2022 Cash Census from the RSA, which found that cash still plays a vital role to millions of people in the UK and that the UK is nowhere near ready to become cashless; and Volumatic’s own white paper research, ‘Consumers Demand Payment Choice,’ carried out following the pandemic, that found that the majority of UK consumers wanted to retain the choice of using cash alongside other methods of payment.

The YouGov survey has been applauded by other cash industry experts including the Payment Choice Alliance and Cash Essentials, who joined forces with Volumatic on our white paper findings, with both showing their support in particular for a Payment Choice Act to be passed in the UK in 2023, similar to laws that have recently been enforced in many states across the U.S, making it illegal for businesses to refuse cash payments.

How businesses need to respond

With support for cash growing day by day, and the likes of GB News currently promoting a ‘Don’t Kill Cash’ campaign on their UK news website, many businesses have already responded to this by reversing their card-only payment policy. But with many others still remaining cashless, it’s time for businesses across the UK to really consider whether they want to support this drive towards protecting cash, and ultimately support their customers' wants and needs by accepting it, or if they want to risk losing trade and alienating customers by remaining or going cashless.

Companies need to remember that the so-called benefits of going cashless aren’t really benefitting either them or their customers. Cost-savings made by not processing cash at the end of the day are made irrelevant by the continually growing fees from card issuers, plus many businesses have already been burned by power cuts and system failures that have made digital payments impossible for hours, and in some cases, days, leaving them without a way to accept payments for goods, leaving customers frustrated and with no choice but to take their business elsewhere.

In contrast, cash is reliable time after time, and there are also lots of advantages to accepting cash, plus intelligent solutions to make your daily cash handling and processing a breeze.

Volumatic makes it easy for your company to start accepting cash

Already in use by the likes of Tesco, the Co-op Food Group and Subway to name but a few, Volumatic’s all-in-one CounterCache intelligent (CCi) is the ultimate solution to help you validate, count and securely store your banknotes, and our clever CashView Enterprise software can help you monitor your cash takings with real-time reporting, giving you full accountability and managing your cash from POS to bank and even helping reducing your CiT costs.

Or if you’re looking for a simpler option, our range of CountEasy money counting scales can count your till drawer in less than a minute, with 100% accuracy and eliminates the need for manual cash counting, meaning processing time is minimal and reducing shrinkage.

Undoubtedly the most important reason for not jumping on the cashless bandwagon is keeping your customers happy and ensuring your business is supporting everyone in society. While many consumers do have the option to pay by card or mobile, this isn’t true for everyone – nearly 20% of our population rely on cash as their main payment method and even those that don’t want the option of using it for certain purchases.

Mike Severs, Sales & Marketing Director at Volumatic said: “The benefits of cash for both businesses and consumers are clear to see. As well as protecting your customer’s personal data, not alienating certain sections of society and helping people budget, which has become increasingly popular during the cost-of-living crisis, cash also has much lower processing fees when coupled with intelligent cash handling solutions and is resilient against power cuts, cyber-attacks and much more – it really is time to stop ignoring cash.”

“Businesses need to be aware of the growing consumer support for cash and by not accepting cash they risk losing trade, losing customers and facing higher costs, and can anyone really afford to do that in the current climate?”

Discuss your requirements with us today