People are avoiding using cash because they fear catching Covid

About one in six (15%) said they avoided cash because they fear catching or passing on Covid-19, Link noted

ATM Network Link said the use of ATMs has increased as lockdown restrictions have been eased at varying rates across the UK.

Compared to early April, an additional £ 200million is now being withdrawn each week from ATMs across the UK, it said.

With the reopening of unnecessary retail stores, 250 ATMs are now back to working, mostly in locations that were closed due to a lockdown.

However, ATM transactions are still only 65% ​​to 70% where they were just before the crisis, Link said.

A consumer survey for Link, conducted in late April this year, found that around two-thirds (65%) of respondents said they’d used cash in the past two weeks.

In mid-January it was just over half (53%).

The places people are most likely to use cash are grocery stores, supermarkets, and paying friends and family. The money used to pay for personal care services such as hairdressers has increased in recent dates as well as building services such as gardening or window cleaning.

About one in six (15%) said they avoided cash because they fear catching or passing on Covid-19, Link noted.

This is despite research by the Bank of England showing that the risk of getting coronavirus from banknotes is low.

More than two fifths (44%) of people said they will use less money in the future than they did before the pandemic.

Graham Mott, Link’s Director of Strategy, said: “This time last year the UK was under strict national lockdown. As a result, ATM usage has increased significantly compared to last April and is at a similar level to what it was in July 2020 when things started opening all over again.

“Overall, this confirms the continued importance of cash for many people and businesses. We know that hairdressers, pubs and restaurants have traditionally used more cash.

“We can see that the cash consumption in pubs is already increasing. Perhaps we have a better picture if locations without beer gardens can also be opened. “

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