Cash usage has increased for the first time in 13 years, according to data released by the UK largest building society, Nationwide.
It revealed that more than 30.2 million cash withdrawals were made from Nationwide ATMs last year – a 19 per cent rise on 2021.
Over recent years the number of cash withdrawals has been steadily declining.
At the start of the pandemic, the number of withdrawals at Nationwide ATMs dropped more than 40 per cent in a year.
Note to self: Nationwide says that cash usage has risen for first time in 13 years
Whilst the number of cash withdrawals remains well below pre-pandemic levels, the average amount withdrawn (£105) was up 25 per cent on 2019, before the pandemic began.
Nationwide believes people are now returning to cash to better cope with the rising cost of living.
Otto Benz, director of payments at Nationwide Building Society, said: ‘For the first time in years we are seeing a natural rise in cash withdrawals as people return to using cash to help avoid getting into debt from the rising cost of living.’
The average amount of cash withdrawn from Nationwide ATMs was £105 last year, down two per cent on the previous year but still up 25 per cent on 2019.
Nationwide has more than 1,200 free to use ATMs across the country either inside or outside its branches.
On top of enabling customers to withdraw cash, they allow them to check their bank balance, pay in up to 30 notes in cash or pay in up to £2,000 in cheques per transaction.
They also allow customers to deposit cash or cheques via envelope, pay bills or transfer money to existing payees, change or unlock their pin number, as well view and print a mini statement.
ATMs for more than cash withdrawals – half of transactions deposits or mini-statements
These multi-use ATMs mean that cash withdrawals are only part of the picture.
Nearly half of all transactions are for other services, according to Nationwide – from printing mini-statements and paying bills to changing pin numbers and paying in cash and cheques.
Rising: The amount of ATM withdrawals has been on the decline for years, but ticked up in 2022 as people used cash to budget
Over the last five years Nationwide has seen a 34 per cent increase in the number of times its ATMs are used to deposit cash into accounts, with the average amount deposited rising to £277 – a 37 per cent increase on five years ago.
Otto Benz adds: ‘ATMs play a vital role in society, enabling people to easily access cash.
‘However, over the years, they have offered greater capability for people to manage their money, whether that’s checking their balance or paying a household bill.
‘Our data shows people are clearly taking advantage of this enhanced technology as we are increasingly putting money away as well as taking it out.
‘Far from the end for cash, it shows that the future of money management is constantly evolving.
‘Taking advantage of the additional services that ATMs provide can be a speedy and convenient experience.’