The counter below shows how much money is estimated to be moving in the UK this year to-date. It highlights a number of incongruences in our payments behaviour. For example, we flash our cash more often than any other payment type, but when it comes to the amount we spend, cash falls down the pecking order, falling behind cheques and debit cards.

Debit card
Standing Order
Credit card
Online banking

Payment values below are in millions

Direct Debit
Direct credit

Learn more about how we make payments in the UK.

(Stats below relate to 2011, unless otherwise specified)

Direct Credits Last year 98% of state pension payments and 91% of salaried workers were paid this way (explaining why this payment method accounts for the second highest values processed); just 30 years ago half of us received wages in cash and cheques.

ATM 87% of our cash now comes via an ATM. In 2000, that figure was 79%. The payments counter shows that we use cash machines to withdraw money from our accounts frequently.

Cash is still very popular for low-value transactions; cash accounts for 55% of all our payment transactions, but the average amount we spend is just £11. In 2010, debit card spending overtook cash for the first time.

Cheques account for only 2% of spontaneous transactions by volume, but the average value of a cheque is £979, as they are more likely to be used for financial services, such as paying a tradesman.

Direct Debits were used to pay 2/3 of regular household and individual bill payments in 2011.

Standing orders are often used where Direct Debits are not available for instance for rent payments or subscriptions. We make more than 6 times as many Direct Debits payments as standing orders.

Credit card Spending on credit cards has increased by just 2% per annum since 2004, well below the rate of inflation. In comparison to the other payment types, we spend less on our credit cards than any other payment method.

Debit card 90% of the adult population holds a debit card. After cash, we use our debit card more often than any other payment option. The amount we spend is also climbing and is forecast to be £664 billion over the next ten years.

Online banking 61% of the 27 million regular online bankers use the service to make payments or transfers to other accounts. As the number of online and telephone banking users is expected to grow by 40% over the next ten years, we would expect to see these figures increase.

CHAPS In 2011, the average CHAPS payment value was £1.9 million, which goes some way to explaining why this payment type (typically used for high-value payments such as house purchases and high-value interbank transfers) accounts for the largest values. Despite these huge volumes, we make fewer CHAPS payments than any other payment type.

Figures used are combined business and personal payments.

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