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Where are the UK's cashless capitals?

Paymentsense has created an interactive map exploring the UK’s cashless capitals

Interactive map details cities with the highest debit, credit and contactless transactions
Interactive map details cities with the highest debit, credit and contactless transactions

London tops the chart of cashless capitals with the highest proportion of card transactions, while Bristol has been revealed to be the contactless capital of the UK, according to new data.


With the use of contactless almost tripling in 2016, and forecasts expecting it to make up more than one in four (27 per cent) of all payments by 2026, a survey by card payment solutions company Paymentsense reveals the UK cities leading this growth with those in the top 10 expected to go cashless first.


Analysing data of nationwide transactions from 2017, Paymentsense has created an interactive map exploring the UK’s cashless capitals, detailing the cities with the highest proportion of debit, credit, contactless and all transactions.


To further understand consumer spending habits and opinion, Paymentsense also conducted a study of 2,000 UK residents to reveal their payment preferences.


It found almost half (46 per cent) of UK consumers are worried about security of card transactions but 80 per cent of Brits said card transactions, including contactless, were their favourite form of payment. Almost a quarter (24 per cent) said contactless payments are their favourite form of payment.


Contactless transactions are more popular among younger spenders, as 41 per cent Brits aged 18-24 said it was their favourite form of payment compared to just under 10 per cent of people aged 55+. This suggests that even though many are worried about security, increasing numbers are using this form of payment.


“As a society, we’re close to becoming cashless, as our asset highlights which UK cities are the most advanced in terms of payment solutions. There are areas of the UK that are adapting to this movement, but others that haven’t made the list need to improve and move with the times,” says Guy Moreve, head of marketing at Paymentsense.


“The study further highlights the average person’s diminishing availability of cash, as many struggle when it comes to everyday, cash-only services such as car parks and taxis, and the importance of accepting card payments within these businesses.”


Paymentsense also found that half of those surveyed want card payment solutions in car parks. This was closely followed by public transport (42 per cent) and taxis (40 per cent). Businesses could lose out on custom if they refuse to adapt to the contactless revolution, as 30 per cent people in the UK would go to another shop if the vendor didn’t accept card payments.


Top 10 cities for card transactions

London: 59,498,327 (number of transactions in 2017)

Birmingham: 10,000,609

Bristol: 8,297,118

Brighton: 6,775,089

Manchester: 5,449,368

Sheffield: 4,765,407

Edinburgh: 4,140,689

Portsmouth: 3,712,439

Leeds: 3,655,217

Oxford: 3,450,293


Top 10 cities for contactless transactions

Bristol: 8,297,118 (number of transactions); 59.50% (% of contactless)

London: 38,514,219; 57.06%

Brighton: 6,775,089; 55.85%

Hull: 1,960,002; 55.73%

Birmingham 10,000,609; 52.97%

York: 2,217,563; 51.68%

Leeds: 3,655,217; 50.14%

Nottingham: 3,195,920; 50.12%

Oxford: 3,450,293; 48.99%

Northampton: 2,211,404; 48.35%


The interactive map can be accessed here


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