FILE - This Nov. 18, 2009, file photo, shows credit and bank cards. Apple fans who froze their credit after the Equifax data breach may end up with another hassle on their hands if they try to get one of the new iPhones that can cost more than $1,000. People who did so and want to make any big purchase may find the same.

Electronic debit card payments passed cash in the UK for the first time in 2017

13.2 billion

British consumers made 13.2 billion payments using debit cards in 2017, compared with 13.1 billion using cash and coins. That marks the first time that the electronic method passed physical currencies in the UK.

Published   |  Photo by AP Photo/Martin Meissner
FILE - This Nov. 18, 2009, file photo, shows credit and bank cards. Apple fans who froze their credit after the Equifax data breach may end up with another hassle on their hands if they try to get one of the new iPhones that can cost more than $1,000. People who did so and want to make any big purchase may find the same.
13.2 billion

Contactless cards contributed the most to that surge. Their use jumped 97% between 2016 and 2017, reaching 5.6 billion transactions of the total 38.8 billion.

FILE - This Nov. 18, 2009, file photo, shows credit and bank cards. Apple fans who froze their credit after the Equifax data breach may end up with another hassle on their hands if they try to get one of the new iPhones that can cost more than $1,000. People who did so and want to make any big purchase may find the same.
13.2 billion

And as electronic methods expand, cash slowly fades away: The UK registered a drop of 15% in payments made with physical currencies between 2016 and 2017.

FILE - This Nov. 18, 2009, file photo, shows credit and bank cards. Apple fans who froze their credit after the Equifax data breach may end up with another hassle on their hands if they try to get one of the new iPhones that can cost more than $1,000. People who did so and want to make any big purchase may find the same.
13.2 billion

These numbers give major companies like Visa and MasterCard—and their smaller fintech rivals—reason to celebrate.

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