Two cheques written a year by typical adult in 2024, says Payments UK

Cash Image copyright PA

Consumers will only buy something with cash twice every three days, and only write two cheques all year, by 2024, a trade association claims.

By then, it says debit cards will be the most common method of payment, followed by cash and direct debits.

The predictions suggest a move away from cash as people use contactless cards or devices - such as smartphones - linked to their debit card.

Non-cash payments recently overtook cash payments by shoppers and firms.

Payments UK predicts that the number of non-cash payments by consumers alone will be higher than the use of notes and coins during 2016.

The association's long-term forecasts suggest that people will move away from paying with cash to buy items such as groceries and lottery tickets online. Small-value transactions, such as newspapers and lunch, may be bought by card.

It predicts that the average adult will make 225 cash payments in 2024, compared with 345 last year. Debit card payments will typically rise from 172 to 282 over the same period, it predicts.

Number of payments per adult per year
Method 2014 2024 (forecast)
Cash 345 225
Cheque 7 2
Debit card 172 282
Credit card 41 53
Automated credit (such as standing orders) 20 37
Direct debit 63 67
Other (such as store cards, prepaid cards) 9 12
Total 656 679
Source: Payments UK; figures rounded to nearest

The figures will worry campaigners for financial inclusion, as those without access to a bank account will be without a debit card.

A recent report by the Financial Inclusion Commission found that two million adults in the UK do not have a bank account, leaving them disconnected from "the financial mains".

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