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Money: Would you credit it? Cash is still king.

NOTES and coins remain the UK's favourite method of payment, according to the annual Alliance & Leicester Cash Usage Survey.

It found that cash has been used by 94pc of the population to pay for goods and services in the last 12 months. Second was cheques, used by 60pc of respondents.

Cheques appear to be losing out to other methods of payment, though. While the number of cash users is virtually unchanged (95pc in 2000 and 94pc in 2001), chequebook usage has fallen 5pc over the past two years (from 65pc in 2000 to 60pc in 2002).

In the meantime, credit and debit card usage have both grown by 6pc since 2000, to 47pc and 49pc of payments respectively.

Cash usage varies only marginally across the regions. It proves most popular in Yorkshire and the North East, used in the last 12 months by 98pc of the adult population in both regions. It is lowest in the South East and London, but still used by 91pc of adults in both areas.

Despite the growth of alternatives to cash, its future seems assured. Sixty per cent of adults think they will use the same amount or even more cash in five years' time.

So why is cash the favourite?

Just over two-thirds of respondents (69pc) agree that the main reason for preferring cash to other payment methods is ``keeping control of finances''.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 12, 2002
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