By Karen Moss
Martec's international retail fraud study found cash use among consumers increased by four per cent last year to an estimated £121 billion of UK retail sales.
Cash was used most prominently in the hospitality and leisure industry where it accounted for 58 per cent of all transactions, a 20 per cent rise, and department stores at 50 per cent of sales, representing a three per cent rise. This nationwide report surveyed 100 of the UK’s top retailers, including Tesco’s, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer’s and HMV.
While cash accounted for a large portion of sales in hospitality and department stores it understandably was used more sparingly in large format stores and for home shopping accounting for 26 per cent and seven per cent of all transactions respectively.
Frances Riseley, Martec’s deputy managing director, comments: “The fact the value of cash being used increased last year, especially in hospitality and mass merchants, perhaps signals that as the recession starts to bite people are turning to cash as a better way to budget their finances."
Cash remains a cost effective payment method for retailers who face bank charges of only 2.3p per cash transaction compared to 9.3p per debit card transaction and 33p per credit card transaction. New payment methods such as mobile and contactless incur bank charges of 5p per transaction.