The state of pay 2019-2020 - Ipsos

The state of pay 2019-2020 - Ipsos
The state of pay
                                  UK RESEARC H

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The state of pay 2019-2020 - Ipsos

                                        3    Foreword

                                        5    Research approach

                                        6    Executive summary

                                        8    The rise of digital-only bank

                                        11   Day-to-day account management

                                        12   Financial education and literacy

                                        14   Contactless payments

                                        17   Mobile payments

                                        18   Paying bills

                                        20   Paying other people

                                        22   The last bastion of cash

                                        24   Being paid

                                        27   Security and payment fraud

                                        28   Open Banking

                                        30   Social media

                                        31   An appetite for innovation

                                        32   Advancing authentication

                                        34   Technical note and methodology

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Foreword                                In 1968, as the Interbank Computer Bureau, we launched the UK’s first shared
                                        electronic payment system with a secure, streamlined service using international
                                        standards. When we began our story, it was with a mission to enable greater choice in
                                        payments for UK people, businesses, Government and banks.

                                        Today, Vocalink provides transaction switching, clearing and settlement for one of
                                        the world’s busiest ATM networks comprising over 60,000 ATMs1; we run, maintain
                                        and service the technical infrastructure that processes over 4.4 billion automated
                                        payments annually on behalf of Bacs including over 90 percent of UK salaries, more
                                        than 70 percent of UK household bills and almost all state benefits2; we manage the
                                        infrastructure that powers Faster Payments — allowing consumers and businesses to
                                        make real-time payments 24x7. And as we complete the migration of paper cheque
                                        processing to the electronic Image Clearing Service, we are proud of the part we have
                                        played in driving a fully digital UK payments infrastructure.

                                        Now, as part of Mastercard, our ideas and innovations play out on an even bigger
                                        stage. But our core purpose remains the same: to enable the frictionless flow of
                                        payments for consumers, businesses, banks and governments. We believe thought
“We’ve been at                          leadership, proprietary research, market analysis and opinion sampling are central to
 the heart of UK                        our offer.

 payments for                           Vocalink began researching consumer attitudes and behaviours to payments and
 over 50 years.”                        payment technologies in 2013 to help us better understand the needs of the people
                                        and business owners that participate in the UK’s economy. We repeated our study
                                        in 2015 and again in 2017 to chart the change over time. This research, conducted
                                        in 2019, explores those same topics while unearthing additional insights into newer
                                        trends, such as the rise of digital-only banks and the advent of Open Banking. We
                                        also delve deeper into financial literacy and education — something we believe is vital
                                        to ensure the sustainable growth of the global economy.

                                        We travelled the length and breadth of the UK to gather a diversity of perspectives.
                                        We’ve looked across the population – from Generation Z to over 75s and small
                                        business owners. Our findings among these groups provide valuable insight into the
                                        way people and organisations want to access and move their money.

                                        This research serves a dual purpose of informing thinking across our industry and
                                        driving our own innovation in the UK and beyond. I invite you to engage in the
                                        discussion on the state of pay in the UK, and share your hopes and expectations for
                                        how the UK payments landscape continues to evolve.

                                        Gregor Dobbie
                                        CEO of Vocalink, a Mastercard company

                                        Join the conversation
1.   LINK website             
2.   Bacs website                       #StateofPay

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Research approach

2,603 people surveyed, of which:             Research aims:

•    2,002 UK adults aged 16-75, all are     •   To understand how the state of          This study was commissioned by
     current account holders and use a           pay in the UK has changed in the        Vocalink and was conducted by Ipsos
     mobile phone regularly                      last two years                          MORI, a market research company.
•    301 UK adults aged 76+, all are         •   To explore behaviours and               Please see technical note at the end of
     current account holders and use a           preferences among UK adults             this report for information on the 2015,
     mobile phone regularly                      with regards to banking and             2017 and 2019 state of pay research
                                                 payments                                methodologies.
•    300 users of banking or payment
     services in a UK microbusiness          •   To highlight emerging trends,           For the purposes of this report, we
                                                 and understand what UK adults           will refer to UK adults aged 16-75 as
Focus groups in:                                 and users of banking or payment         ‘respondents’, and UK adults aged 76+
                                                 services in a UK microbusiness          ‘respondents aged 76 and over’.
•    London                                      want from the next generation
                                                 of banking and payments
•    Leeds
•    Bristol
•    Edinburgh

Mobile payments                                                    Open Banking
A mobile payment is any payment made from or through               Banks allowing customers (with their approval) to securely
a mobile phone. This could include phone-based contactless         share their transaction data with approved third parties.
payment applications such as Samsung Pay or Apple Pay, even
though these usually work as proxies for credit or debit cards.    Fintech/digital-only bank
                                                                   A bank that provides all its banking facilities online and
Mobile payments also include buying anything via an app            through app platforms on smartphones and tablets, with
or internet browser. This could be in-app purchases – such         no physical branches. ‘Fintech’ refers to providers offering
as add-ons to games, Uber car bookings or car parking – or         innovations in both financial services and technology. In this
shopping through a web browser on a mobile phone.                  report, we are specifically referring to the new wave of fintech
                                                                   banks such as Monzo, Revolut and Starling, to name a few.
For the purposes of this paper, a payment made on a tablet         These providers are frequently also digital-only.
would not be deemed a mobile payment.
                                                                   Gig worker
Mobile banking                                                     The gig economy is a labour market characterised by short-
This means accessing and managing your bank accounts via           term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent
a mobile phone via app or browser. For the purposes of this        jobs. For the purposes of this research, we have defined a
paper, if a person accesses their account via a tablet or laptop   gig worker as anyone that works on a casual or zero-hour
while out and about that would count as online banking rather      contract, freelancers and self-employed workers that source
than mobile banking.                                               work via a gig platform such as Uber or Task Rabbit. Please
                                                                   note that there were only 160 respondents in this group.

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The state of pay in the UK

When we began charting                     We’ve since witnessed a steady transition       banks). But while many of the fintech
                                           to digital means of managing money              users participating in our focus groups
the state of pay in the                    and making payments. As the mobile              wax lyrical about the superior customer
UK in 2013, we were on                     proposition matures, the industry is            experience and ability to make payments
the frontier of the next                   moving beyond the traditional payments          abroad with minimal or no fees, there’s
                                           space to enable choice and innovation           still a way to go before fintech providers
generation of payments.                    across the wider digital ecosystem.             assure a broader audience they’re safe,
Our research focused on                                                                    stable and responsible enough to compete
what were then considered                  Perhaps the biggest change of the past          with established mainstream banks.
                                           two years is the influx of new providers
nascent mobile payments                    (including digital-only banks, or ‘fintechs’)   Online banking continues to be the most
and banking technologies.                  in payments. These new providers make           used method for day-to-day account
                                           up more than a tenth of new current             management, and use of mobile banking
In 2015, our headline story was            accounts opened in the last six months          apps has continued to increase over
growing usage of mobile payments           however, as we heard from participants          time. At the same time, a steady number
in-store and online, most likely spurred   in our focus groups, these are generally        of respondents continue to bank ‘offline’
by a proliferation of smartphones and      reserved as secondary accounts into             — via telephone or in-branch at a bank
improved availability of contactless       which they pay themselves a regular             or Post Office — suggesting that while
acceptance infrastructure; in 2017, we     allowance to help them control their day-       use of online and mobile banking is on
concluded that mobile banking apps         to-day spending more effectively.               the rise, there is still an (albeit lower)
may be becoming more of a natural and                                                      appetite for more established methods.
accepted part of many respondents’         Fintech users tend to be younger,
relationship with their banks — the        more likely to live in urban areas, and         Many of the participants we spoke
‘new normal’.                              significantly more of them use mobile           to in our focus groups told us that
                                           payments (in comparison to current              more should be done to promote
                                           account holders with mainstream UK              financial literacy, which they consider

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a key requirement to improve financial      paying for taxis and public transport,      Over the past two years we have seen
capability. There’s a growing market        and when donating to charity — where        many respondents settle into new
of digital money management apps            cash plays a significant role.              routines. But following the introduction
and tools to help meet this need, but                                                   of Open Banking in January 2018 and
providing this training in schools — most   We observed a significant regional          other upcoming domestic initiatives set
focus groups participants agreed — is       variation in the use of contactless         to stimulate competition in financial
the best place to start.                    payments, with more respondents in          services, the UK payments industry is
                                            the South East or Greater London using      facing a sea change once again. Its early
When it comes to making payments,           contactless payments for small everyday     stages, and the respondents we spoke
our 2019 research shows a continued         purchases than those elsewhere. There       to are understandably wary of anything
trend towards contactless payments.         was also significant variation in use of    that could compromise the security of
In fact, contactless cards are now the      contactless payments across age groups      their personal data, but driving greater
most used method of payment for small,      with a significantly lower proportion       awareness of the benefits will likely
daily purchases. Contactless mobile         of respondents aged 65 or over using        alleviate most concerns.
payments are also fast gaining ground       contactless payments across a range
with use more than doubling since 2017.     of payment scenarios. But while older       Incumbent banks and established
It’s something we could have predicted,     respondents tend to lag a little behind     players like Mastercard and other global
but what’s perhaps less easy to predict     the trend, the respondents aged 76          payment providers are best-regarded by
is the continued high use of cash too.      and above we spoke to are defying           respondents to secure their trust in new
We heard many times in our focus            expectations in many other ways:            payment solutions or financial services,
groups that participants value choice at    they’re confident managing money, and       but how will these organisations
the point of sale, some find using cash     online is their most used method for        leverage the opportunity to drive a more
makes it easier to track their spending     everyday banking activities like checking   frictionless future of payments? We’ll
and budget more effectively, and there      balances and transferring money (ahead      find out when we revisit the UK’s state
are certain scenarios — such as paying      of telephone or in-branch banking).         of pay in another two years’ time.
tradespeople and small businesses,

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The rise of digital-only banks

of new accounts opened from Jan-
                                           of 25 to 34-year-olds hold an
                                                                                       1 in 3
                                                                                       people in the Greater London area
June 2019, were digital only banks         account with a digital only bank            is considering opening a digital-only
                                                                                       bank account

The influx of new providers                opening a digital-only bank account         What makes digital-only banks so
                                           is highest in Greater London (17%           attractive? In our focus groups, many
into the UK payments and                   own and 33% would consider).                participants who owned a fintech
finance space is potentially                                                           account admired the intuitive user
one of the hallmarks of the                A number of participants in our focus       experience of digital-only bank apps,
                                           groups claimed to have accounts with        and said immediate push notifications
past two years.                            multiple fintech digital-only providers     gave them greater visibility of their
                                           either in cases where they share a joint    finances and improved control. These
Digital-only fintech banks, including      account with a partner or housemates,       participants drew comparisons on
Monzo and Starling Bank, account           or simply because they’re testing           customer service, and said they liked
for over one in 10 (13%) new current       different offerings before they commit.     that they could contact a customer
accounts opened in the UK, in                                                          service assistant via email or in-app chat
the six months ending June 2019.           ‘I use Revolut to send money to my          quicker than phoning a traditional bank.
Other smaller but more ‘traditional’        brother who works all around the
providers (i.e. with a network of           world — it’s easy and instant’             Most often, focus group participants
branches), including Nationwide,            Leeds                                      who owned a fintech account told us
TSB and Metro Bank account for                                                         that consideration of digital-only banks
21 percent of new current account          The proportion of respondents who           had been driven by recommendation by
openings, while the ‘Big Five’ and their   already own or would consider a digital-    friends or family. The incentive to ‘refer
subsidiaries account for 65 percent.       only bank account is lowest among older     a friend’ offered by many fintech banks
This proportion is down five percentage    age groups. Ownership of a digital-only     goes a long way too. Many of these
points from 2018, which might cause        account among respondents aged 65           participants said they were encouraged
incumbent providers some concern.1         to 75 is three percent and four percent     to open a fintech account before
                                           among respondents aged 76 and over;         travelling abroad in order to save on
According to this year’s survey,           consideration is five percent and eight     foreign transaction fees and continued
fifteen percent of respondents aged        percent respectively. Alongside this, 82    using the account when they returned.
25 to 34 already have an account           percent of respondents aged 65 to 75
with a digital-only bank (like Monzo       have not considered opening an account      ‘I use a pre-paid cash card when
or Starling), and about a third of         with one of these providers.                 abroad. It is safer as I am not carrying
respondents (30%) aged 25 to 44                                                         cash and it is easy to use, plus I have
say they are considering opening a         ‘It saved the hassle of trudging down to     the flexibility of being able to use cash
digital-only account, but haven’t yet.      the bank with my son’s birth certificate    if I need to’
The proportion of respondents who           and whatever else — I did it all online’    Leeds
both currently own or would consider        Edinburgh

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                                                         customer profile

                 Household income                     Living in urban area                   Have credit card                       Have investments

                 £46K                                 66%                                    57%                                    27%
                 vs £33K average                      vs 56% average                         vs 48% average                         vs 17% average

                 Have savings                         Degree educated                        Average age

                 65%                                  50%                                    31 years
                 vs 57% average                       vs 27% average                         vs 48 years average

But despite their impressive growth, just                Similarly, many of these participants felt                ‘They could go belly up tomorrow’
24 percent of fintech bank accounts in                   this makes a fintech bank card safer to                    London
Great Britain are used as main current                   travel with.
accounts.2 Views expressed in our focus                                                                           Security and integrity is an area
groups shed some light on why this is                     ‘It’s just a ‘holding cell’                             in which fintechs can perhaps
the case: the majority of participants                     Edinburgh                                              differentiate themselves in what’s
who owned a fintech account prefer                                                                                becoming an increasingly saturated
to retain their bank account with a                      So, what’s preventing more respondents                   market for both personal and business
traditional provider for activities such                 from taking the plunge? Security is cited                banking. Doing more to reassure
as receiving their salary and making                     as one of the biggest concerns: in our                   consumers around core transaction
larger or loan payments. They use their                  focus groups, general consensus among                    security, consumer protections and
fintech account for every day purchases                  participants was that fintech banks                      regulatory compliance (areas in
somewhat like a pre-paid card: they                      — being new and relatively untested —                    which traditional banks are perceived
transfer themselves an allowance at the                  weren’t a safe repository for all their                  to be stronger) could help fintech
beginning of every month, and use the                    money. A few failures and some negative                  banks transition from ‘secondary’
bank’s app to maintain an overview of                    customer reviews have done little to                     to ‘primary’ account providers.
their spending and help them budget.                     alleviate their worry.

1.   Financial Research Survey (FRS) Current accounts opened in the last 6 months. Time period: 3 months ending June 2019. Base definition: GB adults aged 16+. Base
     size: 2128. The ‘Big 5’ banks and their subsidiaries consist of: Barclays; Santander; HSBC/First Direct/M&S Bank; NatWest/RBS; Lloyds/Halifax/Bank of Scotland.
2.   Financial Research Survey (FRS) Current accounts opened in the last 6 months. Time period: 3 months ending June 2019. Base definition: GB adults aged 16+. Base
     size: 2128.

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How do you perform the following activity:
By telephone call or in branch3

Transferring money between my bank accounts


Checking my bank balance


                                                    14%                                                                2015            2017           2019

1.   Financial Research Survey (FRS) Current account holders; Time period: 12 months rolling. Base definition: all current account holders. Base size: 58,272
2.   ONS, Business activity size and location, via the NOMIS database (UK Business Counts variable)
3.   Q: When it comes to your personal banking, in which of the following ways, if any, do you perform each of the following activities? Base definition: UK adults aged 16 to
     75, all are current account holders and use a mobile phone regularly. (Base size: 2019 - 2002; 2017 - 1673; 2015 - 2664)

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Day-to-day account management

Online banking continues to                 that the proportion of respondents                Many participants in our focus groups
                                            performing everyday banking activities by         who use the Post Office for personal
be the most used method                     telephone call or in-branch has remained          banking agreed, noting: ‘it’s more
for day-to-day banking                      at a similar level over time. Around one          convenient to walk to the local Post
activities, and use of mobile               in eight respondents transfer money               Office than try to find a parking space
                                            between accounts either by telephone              in town.’ Other participants felt the
banking has continued to                    call or by going in branch, and this has          Post Office was a less intimidating
increase over time.                         been the case going back to 2015 (12%             environment to perform banking
                                            of respondents in 2019, 12% in 2017 and           activities than a bank, which they
In our 2017 survey, three tenths of         13% in 2015). This suggests that while            described as too clinical.
respondents (30%) said they used a          use of online and mobile banking is on the
mobile banking app on their smartphone      rise, there is still an (albeit lower) appetite   ‘A bank can be intimidating, but a
to check their balance and a similar        for offline personal banking methods.              Post Office has more of a community
proportion again said they transferred                                                         feel. It’s the preferred option for
money between their accounts this way       Security concerns and personal                     many of my clients’
(28%). It suggested mobile banking apps     preference are the main barriers to                Bristol
may be becoming more of a natural           using a banking app on a smartphone
and accepted part of many people’s          or tablet. When we asked respondents              Looking more specifically at using the
relationship with their banks.              not currently using a banking app for             Post Office to manage current accounts,
Two years on, a significantly higher        personal banking why this was the case,           usage has increased over time. In 2019,
proportion of respondents are using a       41 percent said ‘I prefer other ways              eight percent of GB adults used the
mobile banking app on their smartphone      to do my personal banking’ while 39               Post Office to manage their current
to perform the same personal banking        percent agreed ‘I don’t feel it’s secure to       account — in comparison to six percent
activities versus 2017: checking their      use a banking app’.                               in December 2016 and four percent in
balance (46% of respondents in                                                                June 2014.1 Could an increased use of
2019 compared to 30% in 2017) and           Just under a fifth (19%) of respondents           the Post Office for banking be linked
transferring money between their            use the Post Office for everyday                  to a high volume of UK bank branch
accounts (35% of respondents in 2019        banking, and among respondents aged               closures? In the four years from 2012 to
compared to 28% in 2017). Younger           76 and over, this grows to almost one             2018 around a fifth of bank and building
respondents (those aged 16 to 24) are       in three (29%). When we probed why,               society branches closed in London and
more likely to perform personal banking     convenience came out top with 47                  the south-west, just above a 17 percent
activities like this on their smartphones   percent of respondents aged 16 to 75              nationwide average.2 The Post Office
(over other methods available), whereas     who use the Post Office for everyday              remains an important means for many
older respondents (those aged between       banking agreeing it was ‘because there’s          people in local communities to access
35 and 75) are more inclined towards        a Post Office branch in a convenient              their money and other banking services.
using a computer (versus a banking app      location’ (an even higher proportion of
on a smartphone or other methods).          respondents aged 76+ who use the Post
                                            Office agree with this at 60%). Similarly,
In an age where the smartphone forms        35 percent of Post Office banking users
the basis of many interactions between      aged 16 to 75 agreed it was ‘because
customers and service providers,            my bank doesn’t have a branch in a
conducting every day banking activities     convenient location’, and 32 percent
via mobile may be somewhat expected.        ‘because I can do other things at the
But what’s perhaps less expected is         same time’.

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Financial education and literacy

Could more be done                           ‘Nobody taught me about savings               Of course, banks might take the
                                              and loans. I learned the hard way’           responsibility upon themselves — as
to promote financial                          Leeds                                        many already have. While the Bank
literacy and confidence                                                                    of England is funding a new teaching
in managing money?                           Twenty-four percent of respondents say        programme to give 11 to 16-year-olds
                                             they have given financial advice about        more skills to make financial decisions,
                                             managing finances to friends and family,      there are an increasing number of similar
Improving financial education and            and 20 percent have recommended a             initiatives across the age spectrum, from
literacy is high on the government’s         financial product to friends and family.      Lloyds Bank’s The M Word to Barclays’
agenda, and for good reason: Financial       Those who have given financial advice         Digital Eagles.
literacy gives people the power to make      are significantly more likely to have given
the most of their money and have             it to friends (47%) than parents (38%)        This is where fintechs have an
the best possible financial wellbeing,       or children (36%). Looking at younger         opportunity to come into their own.
both now and in the future. But              respondents in particular, almost two         Thirty-one percent of respondents
only 36 percent of respondents who           thirds (62%) of respondents aged 16           agree that ‘I prefer using technology to
participated in our survey feel they are     to 34 who have given financial advice,        manage my money’ demonstrating an
well-informed on financial matters.          have done so to friends. There are            appetite for tech solutions in personal
                                             some potential benefits to discussing         banking. Which tech tools are likely to
Respondents in lower income households       financial matters with peers: several         appeal? The transparency afforded by
are more likely to worry from payday         participants in our focus groups felt         banking apps that show payments and
to payday than other respondents: just       that it’s a far easier conversation to        balances in real-time; AI saving and
over half of respondents (53%) in lower      have informally ‘in the pub, over a           budgeting tools; and pre-paid cards for
income brackets (with a household            beer’ and with people who are at a            children with an accompanying parents’
income of up to £29,999 a year) agree        similar stage in their lives and therefore    app were all cited by many focus group
with the statement ‘worrying about           sharing similar financial concerns.2          participants as useful tools to instil a
running out of money between paydays                                                       sense of financial discipline and improve
is stressful’. This is in comparison to 33   Around one in 10 (9%) of the parents          financial literacy.
percent of respondents with a household      we surveyed say they have educated
income of £75,000 or more per annum.         their children about money. In our focus      But many focus group participants
                                             groups, consensus among participants          wondered whether the increased
Similarly, just over half of respondents     — parents and non-parents alike — was         digitisation of money made it all seem a
aged 25 to 34 (54%) agree that they          that responsibility for teaching young        little intangible. Many of the parents we
feel stressed when worrying about            people about spending and budgeting           interviewed in the focus groups said they
making money last between paydays.           fell to schools in the first instance.        liked to teach their children the value
Respondents of retirement age (aged          However, few of our focus group               of money in physical form so they can
between 65 and 75) are the least likely      participants felt schools — particularly      better appreciate that when it’s gone,
of all respondents to agree they feel        state schools — were doing enough.            it’s gone.
stressed about this, with nine percent       This was reflected in our survey data:
agreeing with the statement and 37           when asked ‘how did you learn about           ‘I’ve bought my daughter a money box…
percent disagreeing.1                        managing your personal finances?’ just         I help her with counting up the coins so
                                             one in 20 (5%) said that their school had      she learns the value of saving’
                                             taught them.                                   Bristol

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                                                                                               3          agree that they feel well informed on financial

                                                                                                          people aged 25-34 agree that they worry
                                                                                                          about running out of money between paydays

                                                                                                          is stressful

                                                                                            20            say their school taught them about money

                                                                                            10            say that they taught their children about money

Over 75s: Defying expectations3
Our research suggests that older people — aged 76 and over — may well defy expectations when it comes to their behaviour and
attitudes towards finances, payments, and technology.
Some highlights about respondents aged 76 and over:

They’re financially-savvy                                                                    Many choose to bank online

                               89% 49%                                                                                   71% 79%
                               agree they are in        think they are                                                   transfer money   check their balance
                               control of their         well-informed on                                                 between accounts online
                               personal finances        financial matters                                                online

57% own a smartphone, but...                                                                 They have embraced contactless payments

                               16% 16%                                                                                   49% 65%
                               prefer using             feel left behind                                                 use contactless    agree that
                               technology to            by financial                                                     to pay for small   contactless
                               manage their             technology                                                       daily purchases    payments are
                               finances                 advances                                                         (under £30)        a convenient
                                                                                                                                            way to pay

1.   Income up to £29,999 a year
2.   53% of 16–24-year-olds and 52% of 25–34-year-olds
3.   Base definition: UK adults aged 76 and over, all are current account holders and use a mobile phone regularly. (Base size: 301)

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Contactless payments
Contactless is the most                       roll-out of contactless cards and           Others, especially older focus group
                                              contactless acceptance devices, plus        participants, said they find it easier
used method of payment                        consumers becoming increasingly             to manage their money when paying
for small daily purchases.                    comfortable and familiar with making        with cash as it’s easier to keep track
                                              contactless payments on their phones.1      of their spending.
The past ten years has seen significant       In fact, some participants in our focus
change in payments. As modern                 groups struggled to remember the last       When it comes to tracking spending,
economies move decisively away from           time they’d made a payment using            not being able to see pending payments
cash and cheques, digital payment             Chip & PIN.                                 accounted for in their available balance
experiences have evolved considerably                                                     is a potential pain point, with 68 percent
too — from swipe and sign to Chip &           ‘I’ve probably forgotten my PIN by          of respondents agreeing they like being
PIN, the in-store checkout experience is       now because it’s been so long’             able to see, up to the minute, where their
now faster, simpler… and increasingly          Leeds                                      money is going. Worries about losing
contactless.                                                                              control of spending was a sentiment
                                              Initially many of our respondents           echoed by many focus group participants
When we conducted this survey in 2015,        held reservations around contactless        who told us that contactless payments
contactless card payments were used           payments: fifty-eight percent agreed        make them less disciplined about how
by 15 percent of respondents to pay for       that they worried about the security of     much and how often they spend.
every day purchases under £30; in our         contactless payments when they first
2017 survey, it had more than doubled         heard about them. But this has not          ‘Sometimes you get desensitised to
to 34 percent. Two years later, it’s nearly   proven a complete barrier, as thirty-nine    how much you are spending’
doubled again. In 2019, 64 percent            percent of respondents agree that while      Bristol
of respondents make contactless               they are concerned about the security
payments using a credit or debit card for     of contactless payments they use them       This perhaps explains why debit cards
purchases under £30.                          anyway. And three quarters (74%) of         are more commonly used for contactless
                                              respondents agree that contactless          payments — given they’re limited to
Alongside this, 10 percent of respondents     payments are a convenient way to pay.       however much the person has in their
pay for small purchases via a contactless                                                 current account. But use of credit card
payment using their smartphone — an           Somewhat contrary to expectation,           contactless is quickly closing the gap with
increase of well over double the number       the increased use of contactless card       debit cards: the proportion of GB adults
of respondents in 2017 (3%). Young            and mobile payments has not been            making contactless credit card payments
respondents have the highest usage, with      met by a corresponding decrease in use      has almost doubled in the past two years
around one in six of those aged 16 to 24      of cash. Sixty percent of respondents       from 27 percent at the start of 2017 to
(15%) and around one in seven of those        use cash for small every day purchases      50 percent in June 2019.2
aged 25 to 35 (13%) making contactless        (under £30) — down just four percentage
payments with their smartphone. A             points in two years (use of cash for        ‘It seems like free money when you pay
higher proportion of respondents aged         small purchases was 64% in 2017). And        contactless… it’s just tap, tap, tap’
25 to 34 also use contactless via a           when paying the bill in a restaurant or      Leeds
credit or debit card (73% compared to         bar, use of cash has increased: from 47
64% among all respondents). When it           percent among respondents in 2017 to        Most respondents agree the £30 limit for
comes to paying in a restaurant or bar,       55 percent in 2019.                         a contactless card payment is ‘about right’
contactless debit or credit cards are used                                                (69%), but few focus group participants
by 53 percent of respondents — up 21          Why? Sixty-eight percent of respondents     were aware of the extended payment limit
percentage points from 2017 (32%).            agree that they like having the option      for Apple Pay and other mobile wallets.
                                              to pay using cash. When we asked            Perhaps, given how liberally our focus
As suggested by recent findings from          participants in our focus groups ‘why       group participants feared they spend
UK Finance, the growth of contactless         cash?’, many told us they had a nostalgic   when using contactless, it’s better they
payments is likely driven by continued        attachment to carrying notes and coins.     don’t know.

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How do you currently pay for small daily purchases
(under £30)? Credit/debit card contactless:3

                      2015                                         2017                                                         2019

             17%                34%           64%

     68%                                like being able to see, up to the
                                        minute, where their money is going                      68%                              agree that they like having the
                                                                                                                                 option to pay using cash

                            83%                                          85%


                                                                                                                                                              Use card
                                                                                                                                                              Use cash

                    When making small every                      When paying at a bar                           When paying for larger
                    day purchases (under £30)4                   or restaurant                                  purchases, such as electronics

1.   UK Finance ‘UK payment markets summary 2019’
2.   Financial Research Survey (FRS). Respondents with a current account/credit card; Time period: 3 months rolling
3.   Q: How do you currently pay in each of the following situations, if at all? Please select all that apply. Paying for small daily purchases (under £30). Base definition: UK
     adults aged 16 to 75, all are current account holders and use a mobile phone regularly. (Base size: 2019 - 1992; 2017 - 1899; 2015 - 4227)
4.   Q: How do you currently pay in each of the following situations, if at all? Please select all that apply in each situation. Base definition: UK adults aged 16 to 75, all are
     current account holders and use a mobile phone regularly. (Base size: 2002)

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                                                                                15

Paying for small daily purchases under £30
via contactless smartphone payment:2



                                            3%              10%

Paying for larger expenses like airline tickets
or electronics:3

                                        increase in payments using
                                                                                                                                 increase in payments online
                                        a mobile phone browser                                                                   using a computer or tablet

1.   60% among 45 to 54s, 62% among 55 to 64s, and 60% among 65 to 75s
2.   Q: How do you currently pay in each of the following situations, if at all? Please select all that apply. Paying for small daily purchases (under £30). Base definition: UK
     adults aged 16 to 75, all are current account holders and use a mobile phone regularly. (Base size: 2019 - 1992; 2017 - 1899)
3.   Q: How do you currently pay in each of the following situations, if at all? Please select all that apply. Paying for larger expenses like airline tickets or electronics. Base
     definition: UK adults aged 16 to 75, all are current account holders and use a mobile phone regularly. (Base size: 2019 - 1852; 2017 - 1709)

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                                                                                 16

Mobile payments

Use of mobile payments                     Use of contactless mobile payments              But concern around security of mobile
                                           has grown over time: contactless mobile         payments could present a barrier
is growing steadily                        payments for small daily purchases has          to further growth. Over half of
                                           more than doubled from three percent            respondents (54%) agree they ‘worry
In 2017, we looked in detail at the        of respondents in the 2017 survey, to 10        that mobile payments aren’t secure’,
growth of mobile payments in-store         percent in 2019. Is this because paying         rising to around two thirds of those
and online. Our findings showed that       using a phone is more convenient than           aged between 45 and 75.1 Non-users
use of mobile payments was increasing      rooting around in your wallet or purse for      of mobile payments are also worried:
across all types of purchases, and two     a card? Perhaps having to authenticate          62% of respondents not currently using
years on there’s an increase once again.   a mobile payment with a fingerprint or          mobile payments agree they have
                                           passcode reassures more people to give          concerns that mobile payments are not
Awareness of mobile payments               it a go? Our focus group participants           secure. Respondents who use mobile
technology has risen slightly in the       tended to agree with these suggestions,         payments are significantly less worried
past two years. Sixty-nine percent of      but also noted ‘performance anxiety’            (45% either strongly or slightly agree),
respondents in 2017 were aware of          when making contactless mobile                  which could suggest that those who
at least one mobile payment method         payments: fear the technology won’t             have ‘bitten the bullet’ — so to speak —
(including making a contactless payment    work, or that their battery would run out.      are reassured by their experience so far.
using a smartphone or paying using a                                                       Will their testimony encourage others to
mobile app or browser) — this has risen    It’s a similar story when it comes to           give it a go?
to 74 percent of respondents in 2019.      making payments online. In the two years
                                           to 2019, the proportion of respondents          Or, perhaps it’s within banks’ power to
A tenth of respondents (10%) now           making payments for larger purchases            reassure their customers? Banks can
pay for small everyday items using         (like airline tickets or electronics) using     support customers through innovations
contactless smartphone technology,         a mobile phone browser has increased            around security, or through education
and eight percent pay this way in a        threefold from 3 percent to 12 percent          or improved communication of security
restaurant or bar. The proportion          (this proportion grows to 18 percent            solutions like tokenisation — a process
of respondents using contactless           among respondents in Greater London).           of substituting sensitive payment data
smartphone payment technology is                                                           with a non-sensitive equivalent that has
highest in Greater London in both          Forty three percent of respondents agree        no extrinsic or exploitable value. As the
these payment scenarios: 17% of            they’d like to be able to see their available   mobile payments proposition matures,
respondents in Greater London use          balance each time before they pay via           it’s likely this is the area in which the
contactless smartphone payments            their mobile phone, which could drive           battle will be won or lost.
for both small daily purchases under       adoption of mobile payment solutions
£30 and for paying in restaurants          like Barclays PingIt and others enabled by
or bars (compared to 10% and 8%            Mastercard’s Pay by Account, which allow
respectively among all respondents).       people to make payments directly from
                                           their bank account instore or online.

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                              17

Paying bills

The most used payment                                                     Paying for bills like water, power, rates, phone bills etc:1
method for regular bills is
Direct Debit

Seventy-four percent of respondents
pay for bills including utilities and mobile
phone contracts via bank transfer such
                                                                             13%                             pay bills online using a
                                                                                                             computer or tablet

as a Direct Debit or standing order

— that’s significantly higher than all
another forms of bill payment we asked                                                                       pay bills offline pay using
about, and an increase of 13 percentage                                                                      credit/debit card Chip & PIN
points from 61 percent of respondents
in 2017.

Direct Debits can be a reliable and
efficient way for people to manage and                                                                       pay bills online using a mobile
plan their regular outgoings. Almost half                                                                    phone’s browser via card payment
of respondents (49%) said they would
like their Direct Debits to leave their
accounts on the same day each month,

and many participants in our focus
groups would prefer to choose that day                                                                       pay bills offline using cash
to align with when their salary or other
income is received into their account.

                                                                       “I like the idea of selecting the date
                                                                        for my direct debits. It would offer
                                                                        me flexibility and allow me to tailor
                                                                        outgoings more accurately to payday”

1.   Q: How do you currently pay in each of the following situations, if at all? Please select all that apply. Paying bills like for water, power, rates, phone bills etc. Base
     definition: UK adults aged 16 to 75, all are current account holders and use a mobile phone regularly. (Base size: 1862)

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                                                                             18

Request to pay
The UK’s existing account to account           Vocalink has been developing a Request
payments systems are designed to               to Pay solution, which provides a secure
work well for the majority of people           messaging channel between billers and
with regular and predictable incomes.          consumers. Being driven by Pay.UK with
However, in recent years there has been        support across the payments industry,
a notable increase in individuals who          will allow people to pay their pre-existing
receive irregular and unpredictable            bills in ‘chunks’ within more flexible
salaries/incomes.1 For these individuals       timeframes via their mobile phones. It
their financial outgoings – from rent          will give them more control over their
or mortgage payments, council tax,             outgoings than current methods afford
utilities or childcare – all need to be paid   them, reducing the inflexibility that is
regularly regardless of whether they           forcing many into a cash economy.
have the funds to do so.

This tension between irregular income
and regular outgoings, can result in
failed payments, which could lead many
people who can least afford it to incur
a ‘poverty premium’ in the form of a
higher cost for goods and services, and
credit. These factors may contribute to
household indebtedness as individuals
are potentially forced into short term,
high cost credit, such as payday lenders.

1.   Source: University of Hertfordshire

       H TAT
         E S TAT
             E OEF O F PAY
                   PAY       2 0–2
                        2 0 19   190–2
                                    2 00 2 0                                                 19 19

Paying other people

More respondents                            When it comes to paying friends and           There’s also a clear demand for
                                            family outside the UK, the most used          confirmation that the money has
are paying friends                          method among respondents is via bank          been received. Eighty-six percent of
and family digitally                        transfer (either online or in person), with   respondents who have sent money
                                            65% of respondents doing this. This           abroad agree they’d like to receive a
Since we began our survey we’ve             figure is made up of respondents using an     confirmation like this each time they
recorded an increasing number of            online bank transfer specifically (57%) or    made a transfer (of which 54% of these
respondents transferring money              in-person, in branch (18%). Participants      respondents strongly agreed). Several
to friends and family in the UK via         in our focus groups said they chose to        participants in our focus groups who
a smartphone. The proportion of             visit a branch because the additional         send money abroad told us the only way
respondents doing so using a mobile         information they need to provide to make      they can currently find out if their money
banking app has risen from about a          an international payment, such as an          has reached its destination is by asking
quarter (27%) in 2017, to just over a       IBAN number, made them less confident         the recipient directly. These participants
third (38%) in 2019.                        about their ability to set up the recipient   queried why it couldn’t be faster, simpler
                                            correctly themselves.                         and more transparent.
Could this be a reflection of new ways
to pay family and friends via mobile        The next most popular method used by          ‘Once you send that money, that’s it,
entering the market? In 2014, Vocalink      respondents when sending money to              you have no control of it’
built, and the industry launched, Paym      friends or family in another country was       London
— a mobile payment solution that allows     a money transfer company (57%), which
people to send money from their mobile      includes using PayPal — just over a third     Almost a tenth of respondents in our
banking app to another person using         (35%) use PayPal to perform this activity.    survey (9%) still make international
just their phone number regardless of                                                     payments to friends and family using
who they bank with. When we asked           But there are considerable frictions,         cash or cheque, which they post via the
participants in our focus groups what       mostly relating to cost. Sixty-eight          Post Office or another courier. Most
they liked most about this solution, most   percent of respondents agree the ‘fees        participants in our focus groups who
agreed it was easier and less prone to      for sending money to another country          make international money transfers
error than inputting the recipient’s bank   are far too high’. Long delays are another    agreed this was a slow and unsafe way
account details. Most participants in       pain point, with 51 percent of respondents    to send money abroad.
our groups said they prefer to ask for      agreeing ‘the time it takes for the money
payments this way, especially if they’re    to clear in the recipient’s account is far
receiving money from someone they           too long’. Many participants in our focus
don’t know well, so they don’t have to      groups who regularly send money to
expose their account information.           friends, family and businesses abroad
                                            complained of high, unpredictable fees
                                            and perceived a high risk of fraud.

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                               20

Use a smartphone mobile banking app to send money
to friends and family in the UK1

                          23%           38%            27%




                     of those who send international payments
                                                                                               of those who send international payments
                     agree the time it takes for the money to clear                            agree they would like to see confirmation of
                     in the recipient’s account is far too long                                when the payment is received

1.   Q: When it comes to your personal banking, in which of the following ways, if any, do you perform each of the following activities? Transferring money to/from friends
     or family within the UK. Base definition: UK adults aged 16 to 75, all are current account holders and use a mobile phone regularly. (Base size: 2019 - 2002; 2017 - 2019;
     2015 - 2664)

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                                                                        21

The last bastion of cash?

“I like to be in control                    When we asked participants in our focus groups what they expect to see in the
                                            future of payments in 10 to 15 years, many said — or feared — that cash might
 of my money; with                          cease to exist. But there are still a few scenarios or touch-points in our respondents’
 cash, you can see it”                      financial lives where cash continues to play a significant role.

  London                                    Nights out, for example, are still dominated by cash spend: many participants in
                                            our focus groups told us they choose to leave cards at home to avoid losing them or
                                            having them stolen, while others participants felt that allocating themselves a cash
                                            budget reduces the risk of overspending while socialising.

                                            When it comes to making irregular bill-type payments, such as for taxis,
                                            tradespeople and small businesses, and charities, what we heard from respondents
                                            in our survey shows us that in these types of payment scenarios, cash can still reign
                                            supreme. The reasons for this, however, are more complex than they first appear.

                                            C HARI T IES AND D O NAT IO NS

                                            It’s more common to donate cash,
                                            but alternative payment methods
                                            are appreciated
                                            About two thirds (66%) of respondents make one-off donations to charities in cash.
                                            This suggests that cash is a common method for charitable giving however, there
                                            may be some caveats to this. Many focus group participants who make donations to
                                            charity told us they’re reluctant to donate to charities they encounter on the street,
                                            whether in cash or using a card. Instead, they prefer to make regular donations to
“I pay on sites like Just Giving; I don’t   charities they feel a personal affinity with, and their preference is to do so via Direct
 like being stopped in the street”          Debit or online.
                                            Many focus group participants speculated - based on their own behaviour - that
                                            cash donations to rough sleepers is reducing over time, given that people tend to
                                            carry less cash. Those participants that did donate to rough sleepers said they
                                            prefer to give food or drink, or to ‘pay it forward’ in cafés or restaurants by adding a
                                            charitable donation to their food bill.

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                              22

                                         There are potential benefits for
                                         paying by cash
                                         More than two thirds of respondents (70%) make payments to small businesses,
                                         including tradespeople like plumbers and electricians, using cash.

                                         In our focus groups, many participants shared experiences where they were offered
                                         a discounted rate for cash payments, and while this made some uncomfortable, the
                                         potentially considerable savings make paying in cash worth considering. Other focus
                                         group participants rationalised that small businesses suffer poor cashflow, among
“It can feel dodgy when someone          other pressures, and are therefore willing to do whatever they can to help.
 asks for cash, but I would rather
 save money”                             While cash dominates for this payment scenario, digital payments methods are also
 London                                  used by many. Twenty-nine percent of respondents pay small businesses and services
                                         such as plumbers and electricians using a credit or debit card with Chip & PIN, and 15
                                         percent pay using contactless credit or debit card (up 14 percentage points from 1%
                                         In 2017). This may correlate with a significant growth of acceptance terminals that
                                         link to tradespeople’s smartphones to allow them to take card payments on the go.

                                         TAXI S AND PUB L IC T RANS P O RT

                                         Cash (mostly) beats the competition
                                         when it comes to paying for taxis
                                         Eighty-four percent of respondents pay for taxis using cash, suggesting that cash
                                         is perhaps the most preferred (or at least highly available) payment method in this
                                         scenario. However, there are some significant regional variations to note. The region
                                         with the lowest proportion using cash for taxis is Greater London. Respondents in
                                         Greater London use a mix of both cash and card with just over half (53%) using cash
                                         to pay for taxis, and a similar proportion (56%) using a debit or credit card.

“If the fare comes to £8 I hand over a   Alongside these results from our survey, many focus group participants told us that
 tenner and say ‘keep the change’”       in their experience, taxi drivers show a strong preference for payment in cash even if
 Edinburgh                               they do accept card; these participants said they’re happy to oblige so the driver can
                                         receive the funds immediately. Many participants also told us they prefer to use cash
                                         as a means of tipping.

                                         When paying for public transport, cash is used by 65 percent of respondents.
                                         Similarly to paying for taxis, there was significant variation by geography in the
                                         proportion of respondents using cash to pay for public transport. The region with
                                         the highest proportion of respondents using cash in this scenario was Wales, with 90
                                         percent of respondents using cash; this is in comparison to almost a quarter (23%)
                                         of respondents in Greater London. Contactless credit or debit cards account for just
                                         over a third (39%) of respondents making payments for public transport.

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                        23

Being paid

By what means, and when,                    are employed on a full or part-time        wages more frequently would help them
                                            contract are paid on a monthly basis;      manage their finances more effectively
do people get paid?                         while a third (32%) of the self-employed   (compared to 26 percent of respondents
                                            workers we spoke to in the survey are      earning any type of salaried income).
We asked respondents in our survey          paid weekly, and one in 10 of these        This may be because the gig workers
earning an income by what means they        respondents (10%) are paid daily.          we spoke to in our survey struggle to
receive this money. Their responses                                                    make ends meet: 52 percent of these
suggest that when it comes to salary,       More than one in 10 respondents            ‘gig worker’ respondents agree ‘I usually
wages and incomes, it may well be the       (12%) who participated in our survey       run low on money in the days leading
type of employment or income source         fall into the category of gig workers,     up to my next payday’ (compared to 40
that decides how people get paid.           including online merchants, those on       percent of respondents earning any type
                                            zero-hour, casual or seasonal contracts,   of salaried income). Fifty-six percent
Ninety-four percent of respondents          or contracting via a gig platform such     of these ‘gig worker’ respondents also
who receive an income from a regular        as Uber or Task Rabbit. A fifth of         agree that ‘worrying about running out
or part-time source have their salary       these ‘gig worker’ respondents (20%)       of money between paydays is stressful’.
or wage paid to them by bank transfer       say they get paid weekly, and eight
or Bacs (this is a higher proportion of     percent say they get paid daily. But       It’s little surprise, then, that 61 percent
respondents than in 2017 where 87%          whether these ‘gig worker’ respondents     of the gig workers we spoke to find it
of respondents earning an income            determine this frequency themselves,       appealing to have instant access to
received their salary/wage in this way).    or whether it is determined for them       their earned wages whenever they need
Cash is not a typical method for salary     by the platforms or agencies they use      them. This includes 20 percent of these
or wages — five percent of respondents      to source their work is less clear.        ‘gig worker’ respondents describing
who receive a regular or part time income                                              this as an ‘extremely appealing’ idea.
are paid their salary/wage in cash.         More flexibility in how often, and by      This is a significantly higher proportion
                                            what means it’s possible to receive        than the number of self-employed
The frequency with which respondents        wages is an idea that holds appeal to      respondents (14%) and respondents in
get paid also seems to correlate with       many of these ‘gig worker’ respondents     full or part time work (7%) finding this
their type of employment. Just over         we spoke to. Thirty-eight percent of       an ‘extremely appealing’ idea.
four fifths of respondents (84%) who        these workers agree that receiving

                                            “I prefer to receive payment directly
                                             into my bank account”

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                            24

Which of the following, if any, have you personally
done between pay days in the last 12 months?
                 Borrowed from another source

                         Asked to delay a payment

             Missed a payment or made it late

                    Gone without essential items

   Borrowed money from friends and family

      Used my credit card to delay payment

                             Gone into my overdraft

            Gone without non-essential items

                        Put off making a purchase

                                                               In full or part-time employment                           Gig workers

Figure 1: Which of the following, if any, have you personally done between pay days in the last 12 months? Base size: Respondents in full or part-time employment - 1075;
Gig workers (all respondents on a zero-hours contract; self-employed; agency, casual or short-term contact workers; sell goods/services online) - 160

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                                                                       25

Small business owners:
Labouring a little behind the times?

Business banking

A big challenge for many UK small businesses today is keeping                                           Sixty-seven percent of microbusiness users of
on top of the fast pace of change in payment technology.                                                banking services do not use business banking apps.
To find out more about what small businesses are doing to                                               1 in 3 of these microbusiness respondents (38%)
manage their banking and payments needs, we spoke to 300                                                cite security concerns as a barrier, agreeing that
users of banking or payment services in a UK microbusiness                                              they ‘do not feel secure using a banking app’ for
with 0 to 9 employees.                                                                                  business banking’.

The majority (over two thirds) of microbusiness users of                                                Some of the small business owners participating in
banking services use a desktop computer or laptop to conduct                                            our focus groups use the Post Office to perform a
their regular banking activities.1                                                                      range of banking activities, such as paying in cash
                                                                                                        and cheques.

MOBILE                                                                                                 “If my local Post Office
                                                                                                        wasn’t there it would be a
check their business account balance
                                                                                                        nightmare. I would end up
COMPUTER                                                                                                stocking cash and cheques
                                                                        68%                             and that would impact on
                                                                                                        my cashflow”

transfer money between their business bank accounts                                                     Bristol

Business payments

Half of microbusiness users
of banking services (50%) use
cash for small daily purchases
                                                            agree they like to
                                                                                               pay for large
                                                                                                                                  pay their employees’
under £30: 2                                                have the option to                 expenses using                     salaries via direct debit
                                                            pay with cash                      a personal card                    or standing order

1.   Q: Thinking about your business or the company you work for, in which of the following ways, if any, do you perform each of the following activities? Checking the
     balance of bank account(s) and Transferring money between company bank accounts. Base definition: users of banking or payment services in a UK micro-business,
     with 0 to 9 employees (Base size: 300)
2.   Q: For the statements about payments below, please indicate to what extent you agree or disagree with each of them. I like to have the option to pay using cash
     whenever I want to.
     Q: Thinking about your business or the company you work for, in which of the following ways, if any, do you perform each of the following activities? Paying for larger
     expenses like airline tickets or electronics and Paying employee salaries. Base definition: users of banking or payment services in a UK micro-business, with 0 to 9
     employees (Base size: 300)

T H E S TAT E O F PAY 2 0 19 –2 0 2 0                                                                                                                                          26
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