UK customers’ adoption of cashless payments one of the highest when compared to other countries, global survey finds.

EVO Payments’ recent global survey assessed people’s attitude and behaviours towards different payment methods. On average, consumers in the UK are more likely to choose electronic methods of payment compared to 13 other countries participating in the survey.

  • UK shoppers are more likely to choose electronic methods of payment with 71% of shoppers preferring to use cashless payments when shopping in-store.
  • Over 80% of UK shoppers believe that the number of places where you can pay using electronic methods has increased compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The popularity of paying through wearable devices continues to rise with almost two thirds of UK people surveyed having used digital wallets to make in-store and online purchases.
  • Almost a quarter use digital wallets to complete a transaction several times a day.


Consolidated uptake of cashless payment alternatives by UK consumers marks them as market leaders.  

While the Covid-19 pandemic amplified a step change in consumers’ uptake of cashless payment methods, the UK has continued its ascent to becoming a leading adopter of cash alternatives compared to other counties.

Cashless payments are the preferred method of payment for shopping offline across all countries surveyed at 54%. However, this preference in the UK is higher with 7 out of 10 British people preferring to use electronic payments over cash. Only 22% of British people surveyed claimed cash as their preferred method. This is 16% lower than the survey’s average of 38% and only 5% of people surveyed do not use card or digital payments in any situation.

UK consumers prefer to pay by card or online across a range of situations including grocery shopping, eating out, at the fuel pump, at public institutions and for entertainment. Purchase prices also impact how they pay with two thirds saying they choose electronic payments over cash for items and services over £100.

In fact, consumers’ perception of a business is impacted by whether they have card and contactless facilities available with the survey finding businesses with card and/ or online payment options viewed as more modern (77%) and customer-centric (73%) than businesses that can only accept cash.

In the UK, situations where card payment options are unavailable occur much less frequently than in other countries, with just over 30% of people surveyed not finding any situation where card payment facilities are unavailable. The most common situations noted by UK residents for not accepting card payments were shopping at markets, giving money as a gift, paying for taxi trips and going to the hairdressers, barbers, beauticians.

Digital wallet usage continued rise

Digital wallets and wearable devices continue to make their mark on how people choose to pay with 64% of people surveyed having used digital wallets for both online and contactless payments. This is 10% above the survey’s average with ease of use, comfort are cited as reasons why they are chosen as a payment preference.

Almost a quarter (24%) rely on their wearable device to make in-person payments several times a day. A further 12% of participants who do not yet use virtual or mobile wallets claimed that they intend to use them in the near future.

Mobile Banking used daily by almost a third of UK consumers

The uptake of digital payments by UK residents also translates into high digital engagement with banking services with mobile and internet banking proving popular amongst participants. Over half of bank customers (55%) use mobile banking 2-3 times a week with 30% using it once a day.

British people visit ATM’s less frequently with only 20% withdraw money at least 2-3 times a week (in other countries this is 7% higher). People in the UK also contact their bank by phone and/or visit the bank’s branch less often than people in other countries with 53% never using their bank’s phone channel.

The ‘Attitudes towards payment methods’ study

The attitudes towards payments methods global consumer study was conducted using the CAWI methodology with respondents invited to take part in an internet survey. Fourteen countries participated in the survey with a minimum of 600 respondents in each market. To read the full UK results click HERE.