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Plastic Trumps Checks in Britain

British payments association Apacs found that plastic accounted for 65% of British spending last year, up 11% in value from 2007

Cheque payments continue to decline in the UK as card transactions increase, according to UK payments association Apacs.

It found plastic cards accounted for 65 per cent of all UK spending last year, rising by 11 per cent in value in 2007. Meanwhile cheque payments declined by 7.5 per cent in value and 11 per cent in volume.

The biggest growth is in debit cards, which have steadily increased in terms of value by £26bn in the last four years. Credit cards have remained static, as has the amount of money paid in cash.

Apacs director of communications, Sandra Quinn, said as retailers stop accepting cheques it is expected that a large proportion of those payments will migrate to debit card payments. This will accelerate a change that is well underway, as the last three years have seen debit card spending rise 31 per cent, with cheques spending fall 33 per cent.

She said in a statement: "We are becoming increasingly reliant on our plastic cards at retailers as they offer us convenience, speed and access to services such as cashback facility, which other payments options cannot provide. Different situations suit certain payments and it seems that the high street is truly the place for the debit card."

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