Published on 29 July 2023
New research published today by LINK, the UK’s cash access and ATM network, shows that over half (51%) of people are more likely to use cash on a trip abroad compared to when they’re at home.

Despite more people becoming comfortable using contactless and digital payments in the UK, only 10 per cent of consumers say they use less cash abroad. When asked why people who ever travel overseas like to use cash, 35 per cent of respondents said it allows for more effective budgeting and a third highlighted that it is more widely accepted than other payment types. Other popular reasons for using cash when abroad include convenience (29%) and safety (24%) with only 12 per cent of travellers saying they feel unsafe when carrying cash abroad.

However, the findings also highlighted the frustrations of using international ATMs. Over a third (35%) of people who ever travel said that using overseas ATMs is expensive and 23% mentioned the difficulty in finding nearby ATMs when abroad. A quarter (24%) said they don’t like carrying high denomination notes, something overseas ATMs often dispense, and a similar amount (23%) said they worry about fraud at overseas ATMs.

Graham Mott, Director of Strategy, LINK: “It’s interesting to see these results. Quite a lot of people and businesses are so comfortable with contactless or digital payments at home that we forget that some countries are different when it comes to cash. The UK is very much ahead of the curve when it comes to chip and PIN, contactless and using our phones to pay for things. However, when abroad we still like to carry some local currency because it’s a good way to manage your spending and often it’s just quicker and easier.”


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