12.6 million people have fallen out with friends or family over money

By Press releases

Unpaid IOUs leave more than just a hole in the lender’s pocket; they have ruined more than 12 million relationships across the country, according to new research from Paym.

29% of UK adults admit they have fallen out with friends or family over lending up to £100 that was not paid back. The findings reveal that blood isn’t necessarily thicker than water when it comes to keeping cool about unpaid IOUs – 14% of UK adults have encountered family fall outs compared to 15% who cut ties with a friend over money.

One in 10 (10%) colleagues across the country have fallen out over unpaid IOUs, and 9% of people admitted picking a fight with their partner about not paying money back.
The Welsh in particular are most likely to have fallen out with family (19%) and a partner (17%) over money, whereas Scottish (9%) people are most forgiving for forgotten IOUs.

It’s Pay Back Time

Nearly two out of five people (39%) admit they don’t always pay friends back, and one in 10 (10%) say they have avoided paying money back to family on purpose, followed by paying back a partner (7%) or close friend (6%).

Nearly one in three people (32%) even say they have waited more than a year to be paid back for an IOU – so what can the nation do to keep their friendships on track?

Craig Tillotson, Executive Chairman of Paym, said:
“Helping out friends and family is second nature for most of us, so it’s a shame that getting paid back isn’t always as easy as it should be.”

“If you’re owed money by a mate, why not register with your bank for the UK’s mobile payment service Paym? All they need to pay you back is your mobile number, so that’s one less excuse to worry about.”

Dr. Simon Moore, who led the team of psychologists at Innovation Bubble for the study, said:
“Britons face an internal battle between how they really feel about lending money and how to keep their relationships afloat. As money holds a status of power in western society, there is an emotive charge when money changes hands between family friends, even if it’s only for amounts of up to £100.

“It’s important for both the lender and the borrower to agree when IOUs are to be paid back so that neither party feel let down. From the interviews it was apparent that some people like to be reminded that they still owe money – as it can demonstrate that our friends are reliable and confident – things that we value socially.”

Paym is a simple, secure way to send and receive payments straight to a current account using just a mobile number – either by selecting it from the mobile phone contacts book or typing it in directly. Anyone using Paym to send money is able to confirm the name of the recipient before sending the payment too, so they can be sure they’re sending it to the right place.

More than 3 million people have registered their mobile number to receive payments via Paym and the service is available on more than nine out of 10 current accounts, with over £100m sent since the service launched in April 2014.

UK Map of Financial Fallouts

Download ‘UK Map of Financial Fallouts’ Infographic

Paym Infographic (July2016) - smaller

Video of Dr. Simon Moore discussing the emotional truth about IOU’s




12.6 Million people – Number of UK adults aged 20 and over in the UK according to ONS data.   15% of 43,404,349 is 12,587,261.


For further information please contact:

  • Four Communications – 020 3697 4386, Paym@FourCommunications.com
  • Paym Press Office – 020 3217 8441, press@paym.org.uk / @paymnow

Notes to Editors:
Innovation Bubble conducted psychometric testing and research from 8-18th April 2016 for Paym amongst more than 600 British consumers.

About the Research
In order to test people’s’ psychological reactions and associations with borrowing money, Innovation Bubble deployed a bespoke psychometric test that differentiates between what people say ‘aloud’ (a conscious response) to what they think and feel ‘silently’ (a non-conscious response). What is known from decision making and cognitive psychology research is that it is non conscious drivers influence behaviour significantly more than conscious ones.

Capturing not only conscious associations and perceptions but also non conscious ones therefore enables us to understand what is really important to people and how they intend to act and truly feel about money lending.

What is Paym?

  • Paym is the UK’s mobile payments service. It’s a simple, secure way to send and receive payments directly to friends, family and small businesses using just a mobile number.
  • Paym is offered by seventeen banks and building societies, covering more than nine out of 10 current accounts. Over 40 million people are now able to register for Paym.
  • Paym is designed to be accessed through your bank or building society’s existing mobile banking or payments app, so it couldn’t be easier, and it’s just as quick and secure.
  • Every time you send a payment, Paym lets you verify the name of the recipient before you confirm the payment, so you can check you’re sending money to the right person.
  • Registering your mobile number with your bank or building society is quick, easy and free. Information on how to register with each participating bank and building society is available from paym.co.uk/how-to-register
  • For more information go to www.paym.co.uk