How has cash usage evolved in recent decades? What might drive demand in the future?

Quarterly Bulletin 2015 Q3
Published on 15 September 2015

By Tom Fish and Roy Whymark of the Bank’s Notes Directorate.

Cash is often in the media spotlight. While some predict its impending demise, most people continue to use banknotes in their day-to-day lives. Although consumers are less likely to use cash for transactions than they were in the past, aggregate demand for banknotes is increasing. This article considers how cash usage has evolved in recent decades, how cash is used today, and why the Bank of England needs to prepare for a future where cash remains important.

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