Brits Leave Cash Behind – UK adults only carry £22 in their wallets

By 17th September 2016Images

Is “sorry, I don’t have much cash on me” a familiar phrase when you’re owed money by friends and family? It seems to be a nationwide problem as Brits admit to only carrying £22 in cash at any one time, according to new research from Paym, the UK’s mobile payments service.

The study also reveals a shortfall between the amount of cash people carry on them and a typical IOU. With the average Paym transaction standing at £52, there is a discrepancy of £30 – £1.5bn* in total across the UK – between the average amount of cash carried by Brits, and the amount they actually need to pay people back.

Across the UK, Belfast residents tend to have the bulkiest wallets, with the research showing people in the city having on average £30. At the other end of the scale, Nottingham residents have been quickest to lighten the load in their wallet, keeping only £16 in their pockets.

High Cash Carrying Cities                                                  Low Cash Carrying Cities

City Average Amount City Average Amount
Belfast £30.19 Nottingham £16.54
London £25.41 Glasgow £18.99
Liverpool £25.37 Bristol £19.43
Sheffield £25.30 Manchester £19.63
Newcastle £23.95 Cardiff £20.22


Craig Tillotson, Executive Chairman of Paym, said:

“Cash is no longer king when it comes to paying back IOUs. As people carry smaller amounts of cash on them, chasing down money owed can quickly become a hassle. Paym allows you to send payments of up to £250 per day directly to friends and family’s bank accounts using just their mobile number, making cumbersome IOU repayments a thing of the past.”

To find out what really is going on in the nation’s wallets, Paym street teams will be heading to five UK cities to invite members of the public to take part in the ‘Change Challenge.’ By taking part in the challenge, contestants will have the chance to win £250 per city.


The Paym ‘Change Challenge’ is coming to city near you: 

Location Date
London – Golden Square 17th – 18th  September
Bristol – Broadmeads and Cabot Circus 15th – 18th  September
Manchester – Arndale Shopping centre,
Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly Square
22nd – 25th  September
Edinburgh – Old town, Waverley Walk
shopping centre and Princess St
22nd – 25th  September
Belfast – Victoria Shopping Centre
and Castle Court
29th September – 2nd October


For further information please contact:
Paym Press Office – 020 3217 8441, / @paymnow

Notes to Editors:
About the research:
2,005 adults aged 18+ were surveyed from 19th to 21st July 2016 as part of an Omnibus survey conducted by Opinium for this story.

* = £1.5bn based on average discrepancy of £30 multiplied by the UK’s adult (18+) population, 50,909,098 (ONS).

About the Paym Change Challenge:
Paym street teams will be in five UK cities to challenge people on how much money they think their city carries with them in cash on average. Open to UK residents 18 and over. Only one entry is permitted per person. There are 6 prizes of £250 available to win (one per city with the exception of London where two prizes are available). The winner from each city will be the person who gets the most likes on their Change Challenge photo when shared on Facebook. Visit this page for the full terms and conditions.

© 2017 Mobile Payments Service Company Limited. Company no. 08653992. Website Design and Build by Buzzword