For the first time since they were introduced, UK consumers have spent more using their debit cards [where money is withdrawn straight from the owners bank account] than with cash over the course of the last year.
Figures from the UK Payments Council show that spending on debit cards reached £272bn in the 12 months to October while cash sales were slightly less at £269bn over the same period.
There were 1.6 million more transactions on debit cards every day between July and September compared with the same three months a year earlier and the amount spent rose by just under 11%.
Withdrawals from [hole-in-the-wall] cash machines dipped slightly during the same three months, and credit card usage has remained relatively steady.
Debit cards have become ubiquitous and the public now expects them to be accepted everywhere - in pubs, stores, corner shops and online.
The figures also chart the further decline of cheques with 104 million fewer used in the UK in the 12 months to October, compared with the previous year.
Read related items on:
Retail, pubs, clubs and restaurants