According to Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank's Cash Survey, 42% of the UK's retailers say that they prefer cash transactions above all other forms of payment.

The findings highlight the crucial role cash continues to play in the UK retail sector. In contrast, outdated cheques are preferred by less than one in eight retailers (12%) and even debit cards are the chosen method by only one in four (24%).

The survey also reveals that almost two thirds (63%) of small and medium retail businesses view dealing with credit cards and cheques as too expensive and half (49%) think cash is both cheaper and easier to manage.

According to Alliance & Leicester’s analysis of the findings, the humble coin and note is still very much the lifeblood of the retail industry with 53% of businesses handling more than GBP100 in cash every day. Furthermore, almost one in three (31%) retail companies surveyed say that if customers stopped making cash payments it would have a negative effect on their business, with 49,000 fearing they would be forced to close down.