Cash payments rise for first time in a decade

UK consumers are making more payments with cash to help manage their spending, according to figures from UK Finance.

The number of cash transactions grew in 2022 for the first time in 10 years, increasing by 7% to 6.4 billion.

Growing fears about rising prices have led some people to make greater use of cash as a way of managing budgets, the banking industry body said.

However, the share of payments made using cash continued to fall as the total volume of payments increased.

The data suggests that there has been a shift towards more frequent transactions that are each worth a lower amount. Across all payment types, the total number of payments increased to 45.7 billion, up from 40.4 billion in 2021.

Debit cards remain the most popular payment method, with transaction volumes increasing by 18% during the year to just over 23 billion payments. As a result, for the first time, half of all payments (50%) were made using debit cards.

Payments made using credit cards increased by 19% and the total number of contactless payments increased by 30% to 17 billion.

Over the next decade, UK Finance forecasts continued growth in the use of debit cards and a decrease in cash payments in the long term.

Benefits fraudster had £90,000 in the bank

A FRAUDSTER claimed over £30,000 in benefits – despite having a nest egg of more than £90,000 in 26 separate bank accounts, a court was told.

 

Inam Ul-Haq, of Walsall, West Midlands, falsely claimed income support over a period of five years.

 

Nayan Patel, prosecuting, said the 46-year-old had made a legitimate claim for income support in May 1996 on the basis that he was unable to work due to ill health.

 

Walsall Magistrates Court heard on Monday that he was only entitled to claim the benefit if he did not have capital exceeding GBP16,000.

 

The claim became fraudulent in August 2003, and he was still falsely claiming benefits until August 2008.

 

It came to light that he had access to 26 different bank accounts which had contained cash totalling around GBP91,000.

 

During an investigation led by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ul-Haq was quizzed about the cash in the bank accounts.

 

Mr Patel, prosecuting on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, said he was overpaid GBP31,116.06.

 

He added: “There was a condition to notify the Department for Work and Pensions if there was any change in circumstances.

 

“He claimed the money belonged to his father-in-law and he was holding onto it.”

 

During his appearance at court on Monday, Ul-Haq, represented by Julian Derry, admitted one charge of failing to notify the Department for Work and Pensions of a change in circumstances.

 

Mr Patel said the case was deemed too serious for magistrates and it was committed to Wolverhampton Crown Court, where Ul-Haq is due to be sentenced on January 17.

 

He said Ul-Haq would also be taken to a proceeds of crime hearing in a bid to recover the money he had falsely received. He was given unconditional bail.