A nation of coin collectors: Over half of brits* make decimal point by hoarding £65m** in pennies
- 40 years since “D-Day” switchover, cash remains king for the little things
- Whilst two in five people (41%) now treat notes and coins as a ‘back-up’ option, one in three (34%) still reach for cash first
- The way we shop and pay is changing - campaign launched today to explain modern payments: www.PayYOURway.org.uk
More than half of Brits (54%) remove loose change out of their wallets and purses, leading to an estimated £65 million** in pennies lying around the nation’s homes, according to research published today*.
The research, published on the 40th anniversary of the decimal switchover, marks the launch of a campaign to explain modern payment options to those who are not yet benefiting from them, and highlights just how much the way we shop and pay has changed over the past 40 years [see box lower down]. Modern consumers are more likely to treat notes or coins as ‘back-up’ than rely on it as their preferred option (41% vs 34%). The only scenario where this preference doesn’t hold true is when paying for low value items: nearly eight out of ten shoppers (77%) say they are still happiest paying for low value items in notes and coins.
Sandra Quinn, Director of Communications for the Payments Council, comments: “Since decimalisation, the debit card has overtaken cash as something we are loathe to leave home without, and we’ve now arrived at the point where one in three people prefer to shop online rather than in person.
“However, cash is still king for the small things, with six in ten people (61%) preferring to pay for low value items with coins and one in six (16%) still keenest on the purchasing power of a crisp bank note. In the not-too-distant future we expect to see new alternatives like contactless cards and mobile phone payments start to become much more widely available and so popular for paying for low value items, but even they aren’t likely to challenge for cash’s crown anytime soon.”
Which coins do we keep in the great coin clean-out?
One in five (19%) of Britain’s 26 million grown-up coin collectors say they stick to only clearing out coppers, while seven out of ten (70%) have no space for anything less than a 50p. A surprising 15% say they try not to keep coin values under a pound in their purse or pocket, and a strict 6% (1.6 million people) remove the lot and rely instead on notes and other payment options.
With over £245 million in one and two pence pieces in Britain today**, the Pay YOUR way campaign estimates there could be as much as £65 million in loose pennies lying around in people’s homes or even lost down the back of sofas.
Why and where we stash our cash
Whilst four out of ten of these coin collectors (40%) say their stash tends to find its way to the bank, 43% admit they rarely or never get around to changing up their spare coins, rising to more than half of younger ‘shrapnel-sweepers’ (55% of 18-35 years old). And as for why we put aside our pennies, 42% do so to spend it on treats for themselves or their family or friends, one in 12 (8%, 2 million people) donate their hoard to charity and 15% just like the comfort of knowing there is loose change lying around should they need it.
When it comes to low-cost items, cash is still king as 77% say they’d choose this as their preferred method to pay for items under £3, rising to 83% of those aged 55 and above. However, a trend is emerging among younger consumers for cashless payments, with one in eight of Britain’s under-35s (12%) opting for debit cards for these low-cost transactions, and an additional 5% keen to embrace the new contactless payments that are being rolled out onto the nation’s cards as their method of choice.
Boost for charities
Whilst overall one in twelve (8%) of those who save coins do so specifically to give to charity, this rises to one in eight (12%) of Britain’s over-55s. Furthermore, a third of British respondents (34%) say they sometimes leave coins they receive in change in the charity box at the shop if one is available, with the under-35s coming out top of the table for such charitable giving (40%).
Sandra Quinn also commented:
“Most people seem to have a ‘system’ when it comes to how they deal with coins, and frequently the lower value ones get cleared out of wallets at the end of the day or week and put to one side. It’s great to see that charities are benefitting from loose change that people may not wish to carry around with them, but what the research has also shown is that although we have loads more options than we had forty years ago, cash is still very much in vogue.
“Cash can frequently be the quickest and easiest way to pay for things, particularly for smaller transactions – and coins help people to pay the exact amount. Over a third of respondents said cash is their favoured method of payment regardless of the transaction – I think many people like the certainty of knowing that with cash a debt is paid as soon as you hand it over.”
|Changing payments since Decimalisation- fantastic facts!
For further information on this survey, the way we pay today, or the anniversary of Britain going decimal, contact Sarah Tye or Anna Schirmer at Lansons Communications on 020 7294 3633 / 3605 / PayYOURway@lansons.com or the press office on 020 3217 8340/83160 / email@example.com
*Research conducted by Opinium Research via an online poll of 2,007 UK adults, 28th – 31st January 2011
** The Royal Mint’s Annual Report 2009-10 quotes there being £112m worth of 1p and £133m worth of 2p coins in circulation and previously they have estimated that since Britain switched to decimal currency in 1971, 6.5 billion penny coins have been taken out of circulation
***Payments Council Q3 2010 Statistical report revealed that the value of debit card transactions had overtaken the value of cash spent in 2010. Research conducted by Opinium for the Payments Council 16th-21st December 2010 showed that 33% of consumers preferred to shop online when given the choice.
NOTE TO EDITORS
The Pay YOUR way campaign
The payment choices available to UK consumers have expanded at an increasing rate since the early 60s. Pay YOUR way is a consumer education campaign by the Payments Council, the organisation which sets the strategy for UK payments. It was set up by the payments industry in March 2007 to ensure that UK payment systems and services meet the need of payment service providers, users and the wider economy.
The Pay YOUR way campaign is aimed at educating consumers on the different payment methods available to them. The PayYOURWay.org.uk website explains different payment methods, as well as dispelling myths and misconceptions including those concerning security, reliability, speed and cost.
The Pay YOUR Way campaign aims to help consumers make informed choices.
The Payments Council is the organisation that sets strategy for UK payments. It has been established to ensure that UK payment systems and services meet the need of users, payment service providers and the wider economy.
The Payments Council has three core objectives: to have a strategic vision for payments and lead the future development of co-operative payment services in the UK; to ensure payment systems are open, accountable and transparent; and to ensure the operational efficiency, effectiveness and integrity of payment services in the UK.
The Payments Council is a membership organisation funded by its members, with an independent chairman. It was set up in March 2007 as a membership organisation funded by its members and currently there are 30 members; the Board has 11 banking representatives, four independent Directors and an independent Chairman. The principal UK payment schemes – Bacs, CHAPS and Cheque & Credit Clearing Companies, LINK Scheme as well as the UK Domestic Cheque Guarantee Card Scheme and the Belfast Bankers' Clearing Company Limited – have entered into a contract with the Payments Council to set out their respective rights and duties towards each other. Under the contract, schemes are required to report regularly to the Payments Council Board: the Board is able to make decisions that are binding on scheme members in order to implement its strategy. Payments Council also has 18 associate members.
The Payments Council manages the cooperative aspect of notes and coin distribution, helping ensure that an appropriate amount of cash is distributed across the country.