Cash or Credit Card, Which is Better for You?


The ATM celebrates its 50th anniversary on Tuesday. The ‘hole in the wall’ is still the most popular choice for people in managing their day-to-day financial needs, 50 years after its first release in the UK.

Despite the evolving technology such as online and mobile banking, the UK record for the most cash withdrawn in 24 hours was broken in December 2016 as Christmas shoppers withdrew £730 million.

Trade association Payments UK recently forecasted that the fast growth in the use of contactless cards means cash will no longer be Britain’s most-used payment method by the end of 2018.

But Payments UK has said its estimate did not announce the death of cash, as even in 10 years, cash is still seen to make up around 21% of all payments.

Raheel Ahmed, head of customer experience and channels at Barclays, said: “Even though recent years have seen a huge uptake of digital banking and card payments, cash remains a crucial part of most people’s day-to-day lives – whether it’s paying for groceries or doing the office coffee run – and we’re very proud of the role that Barclays has played in the history of the cash machine.”

Jeremy Light, managing director of payments at technology services company Accenture, said the ATMs are evolving to keep up with customers’ needs.

“The ATM is changing, as it takes on a new role to complement online banking. Donating to charity, buying stamps or even applying for a credit card are all possible and may come to your local ATM.”

“Smarter technology means ATMs are more secure and versatile today, for example, cash withdrawals using a mobile phone instead of a card. ATMs perform an important role in the UK economy and maintain customer interactions with a bank. Perhaps cash will always be king,” he added.