Further fall in use of cheques as debit card use soars

Britons opted for faster payment methods during the second quarter of 2010 which saw a 10% decline in the use of cheques, figures have revealed.

During the three months to the end of June people across the country wrote 290,000 fewer cheques every day, compared with the same period last year, the Payments Council shows.

Credit and debit cards maintained their popularity, while the Faster Payments system was used to move money between accounts.

As more banks started using the Faster Payments system during the period, the level of transactions jumped by 67%, while debit card usage was up by 12.4%.

The increased use of debit cards also reduced the amount of cash people used during the period.

The amount of cash withdrawn from ATMs, generally seen as a proxy for the amount of cash used for transactions, was 3.2% or £1.6 billion lower than during the same quarter of the previous year.

Credit card spending was also weak, rising by 3.9%, barely ahead of inflation, due to the ongoing shortage of credit, as well as increased debit card usage.

Repayments continued to match new spending on credit cards, as consumers shied away from increasing their borrowings.

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