Londoners use more chequesRegional trends shown on Payments Council new map

27 December 2009

A new online map of payment methods shows some surprising regional variations. Londoners use cheques more than the rest of the country, while in Scotland they are far less popular.

Writing a cheque

Pay energy bills by cheque at a bank or by post

The Payments Council have produced a new map showing how payment preferences vary from region to regions across the UK. Plastic cards (credit and debit) are most popular in the South East, for example, with 97% holding at least one, while in the West Midlands this figure falls to 86%. The national average is 92%. 

Cheques used more widely in London   

Londoners are revealed to be surprisingly keen on cheques. 39% still use cheques to make spontaneous payments, higher than the national average of 31%. In Scotland, by way of contrast, only 20% now use cheques, a 7% fall from the previous year. Earlier this week, the Payments Council announced that cheques were due to be phased out in 2018, provoking considerable comment. Which? personal finance camapigner, Vera Cottrell said: ‘It is wrong to set a firm end date for the cheque before the banking industry has actually come up with alternative payment methods that are cheap, safe and easily accessible – and which are suitable for those people who currently rely on cheques.’

Internet banking popular in South East 

Telephone and internet banking is most popular in the South East, where 59% of adults use it. Some 50% use these services to make payments, while the national average for telephone and internet banking is 53%. In the North East just 46% use either.

Cash withdrawals popular in Scotland   

Cash machine withdrawals are more frequent north of the border, with an average of 67 per person each year. In London the number drops to 63. The national average is 59 withdrawals, with those in East Anglia making the fewest, just 51 each year. East Anglians still use cash however, as the amount they take out each year (£4,931) is actually higher than average (£3,889).

pound coins

Which? Money when you need it

You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.

Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.

Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what's going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast

For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.