Cash is the most popular way people like to give or receive money as a Christmas gift, a survey has found.
Four in 10 (40%) people would prefer to give money in the form of coins and banknotes, and the same percentage would want to receive money as cash, the YouGov research carried out in December for ATM network Link found.
Younger people were particularly likely to prefer to receive cash, with 45% of 16 to 24-year-olds saying this would be their choice, alongside 43% of 25 to 39-year-olds.
And more than half (55%) of people in Northern Ireland said they would prefer to receive money as cash, as would 44% in Wales.
Across the study, just under three in 10 (29%) would prefer to receive Christmas money in the form of a bank transfer, while 14% would want a gift card and 4% would opt for a traditional cheque.
Just 1% would want money as a savings product such as an Isa and 1% would prefer something else such as shares or cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
Graham Mott, director of Strategy, Link, said: “The nation has spoken and for anyone stuck for a last minute gift, it looks like we’re happier with cash as a gift rather than a bank transfer or other ways to give money. Cash is tactile and seems more personal than a digital payment and to be honest, the new polymer notes are pretty smart.
“However, some people prefer the security of sending a cheque in the post and this year in particular, families unable to meet up may choose to send money electronically or as a cheque.”
The most popular reason for giving cash as a Christmas present was that the recipient can use it to buy whatever they want. The second most popular reason why people prefer giving cash at Christmas is that it can be spent in a wide variety of places, unlike some gift cards or vouchers.
Many shoppers and retailers have avoided handling physical cash during the pandemic, instead turning to alternatives such as cards.
However, a recent Bank of England study indicated that the risk of getting coronavirus from handling banknotes is low.
Nearly one in 10 (9%) people surveyed would not like to receive money as a Christmas gift in any form, Link’s research found.
More than 2,100 people were surveyed.
Here are the percentages of people who said they would like to receive money in cash form for Christmas, according to Link:
– Northern Ireland, 55%
– Wales, 44%
– London, 42%
– East Midlands, 42%
– West Midlands, 42%
– North West, 41%
– North East, 41%
– Scotland, 40%
– South West, 38%
– South East, 37%
– Yorkshire and the Humber, 37%
– East of England, 37%