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Six in ten people likely to use cash for gifts, treats or socialising over the Christmas period, new Post Office research finds

Press release   •   Dec 03, 2019 07:00 GMT

Chris Wildman, Postmaster for Airton Branch serving a customer cash

Six in ten people likely to use cash for gifts, treats or socialising over the Christmas period, new Post Office research finds

  • 45 per cent of people likely to give cash as a Christmas gift
  • 66 per cent of people in rural areas more likely to use cash instead of card in the run-up to Christmas
  • An estimated 28 million people likely to visit a Post Office branch during festive period*

Six in ten people (59%) across the UK who celebrate Christmas are likely to use cash instead of card when purchasing gifts, treats or socialising this Christmas, new research from the Post Office has found. This figure rises to two thirds (66 per cent) of people in rural areas.

With 45 per cent of people likely to give cash as a gift this Christmas, Post Office branches are set to play a key role in ensuring that millions of customers of UK banks have easy access to cash withdrawals during the festive period.

More than 28 million (54 per cent) say they intend to visit one of the Post Office’s 11,500 branches during the festive period. The research found that of those who intend to visit a branch:

  • 20 per cent intend to withdraw cash and 7 per cent intend to deposit cash.
  • Those aged 55+ are most likely to visit a Post Office (64 per cent) and over a third (35 per cent) of 18-24 year olds intend to visit.
  • People living in rural areas are most likely to visit to withdraw cash (30 per cent).
  • More than two thirds (69 per cent) who intend to visit will post Christmas cards and gifts and a further 22 per cent intend to visit to collect or return online shopping.

Martin Kearsley, Banking Services Director at the Post Office, said:

“Millions of customers of UK banks can rely on our branches for easy access to cash in the run-up to Christmas. Many branches are open longer hours and 4,000 are open seven days a week. Whether it’s withdrawing cash to give as a gift to getting stamps, cards or travel money, our branches provide a personal, face-to-face service which is important to many, particularly during the festive period.”

Airton Post Office, based in Town End Farm Shop, Malhamdale (North Yorkshire) is set to celebrate its first Christmas. The shop previously featured on the BBC’s ‘Top of the Shop with Tom Kerridge’ 2018 series. Since October 2019, Post Office services have been provided.

With the nearest bank nine miles away in Skipton, the branch offers convenience by allowing customers to withdraw cash and pay bills while at the same time visit the shop which sells a wide range of local produce and Christmas gifts such as hampers and Yorkshire gin.

Chris Wildman, the Postmaster for Airton branch, said:

“Our customers are delighted to have the convenience of a brand new Post Office branch under the same roof as our farm shop. Prior to the branch opening people had to travel miles to visit an ATM or bank branch. We’re pleased we can offer our customers the ability to withdraw cash and access a wide-range of Post Office services.”

Awareness of cash withdrawal at the Post Office

The research also found high levels of awareness that cash can be withdrawn from a UK bank account over the counter, at the Post Office’s 11,500 branches, with 66% of UK adults aware. Amongst people living in towns, their surrounding areas and rural areas, the figure averaged 73 per cent. Martin Kearsley added “the Post Office recently announced a new agreement with 28 UK banks that allows millions of their customers to withdraw cash at our branches. With 6000 branches in rural areas, customers of UK banks have grown to rely on our everyday banking services.”

For more information about Post Office services at Christmas, visit


Issued by:

Post Office External Relations

Tel: 0207 012 3456

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All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2115 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11th - 12th November 2019. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

*Post Office figure. 54% of respondents said they would be likely to visit a Post Office branch over the festive period. The Post Office has used mid-year population estimate for 2018-19 to calculate a figure based on adults aged 18+.

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