The use of cash to pay for shopping and services has been reducing year on year as more and more people make card payments at tills or use their mobile phone or watch to make a payment. But paying by cash is still a very strong part of the culture here in Northern Ireland where they use money more regularly than in any other part of the UK.
The latest data from the interbank network Link has estimated that the average person here withdrew a total of £2,226 over the course of 2022. In comparison the UK average overall withdrawal per person last year was just £1,564, which works out at around 45% less than Northern Ireland.
A Long Term Trend Away From The Use Of Money
But there is still a trend that is moving away from the use of cash here, as before the pandemic back in 2019 Link’s data suggests the average person here withdrew £2,931.
The banks are certainly not making it any easier for people to withdraw money from their accounts either. Many banks in the towns and cities throughout the UK have closed, claiming that the use of internet banking has made many of their branches redundant. At the same time there has been a reduction in the number of ATM machines. But there are many older people who still like to use banks as they don’t know how to use internet banking and they also like the personal touch that going into the local branch of their bank gives them.
The Figures Continue To Show The Importance Of Cash For Consumers
Scott Kennerley, director of financial and postal services at the Consumer Council, is quoted in an article in the Irish News on this subject, and he said that:
“These figures continue to show the importance of access to cash for Northern Ireland consumers.
“We have seen a significant number of bank branch closures in Northern Ireland in recent years which will undoubtedly have affected consumers’ ability to access their money.
“Being able to access cash free of charge continues to be so important to many consumers and as these figures show, of particular importance to Northern Ireland consumers.”
I am sure there will be a time where physical cash becomes redundant as we move further away from the use of it in our everyday transactions. But for now the people of Northern Ireland seem more than happy to keep on using it.