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Plastic out-gunning cash & cheques

Plastic out-gunning cash & cheques

(UK) - Two years from now more will be spent on plastic than in cash and cheques combined in the UK with big implications for Asia Pacific. With an astonishing GBP 540,000 spent every minute via cards, consumers appear more relaxed about their debt and seem readier to impulse spend with their cards than with cash or cheques, according to UK retail analysts Mintel.

Fully GBP 285 billion was spent on credit or debit cards in 2001, four times that spent a decade ago when it accounted for 15 percent of UK consumer spending; that ratio is now 44 percent, with the number of credit cards in circulation having doubled to 52 million over this same period.

Notably, the number of cheques processed annually has dropped by about 1.3 billion to 2.6 billion over the decade, a trend reported on earlier that strongly parallels the US experience with cheque volumes. There, however, the strongest growth payments mechanism is electronic not cards.
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