According to new stats released from The Payments Council in the U.K., consumers and businesses in the U.K.—for the first time—are making more non-cash payments than cash ones.

"The total number of cash payments made by consumers, businesses and financial organizations in the U.K. fell to 48% last year, from 52% in 2013. This is the first time that non-cash payments have exceeded those made with cash, reflecting the steady trend to use automated payment methods and debit cards rather than pay by notes and coins," the Council said in a statement.

That said, cash remains the most popular payment method by volume, followed by debit, the Council said. Among consumers, cash was used in 52% of all transactions in 2014, and "The current forecast is that this figure will drop below 50 percent next year (2016), but there is no prediction for cash to disappear," the Council said. It projected that in 2024, U.K. shoppers would spend 12.7 billion pounds in cash and more than twice that—28.8 billion pounds—in non-cash methods.

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