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Report: Banks being used less for electronic payments

Banks' dominance of electronic payments could be coming to an end as alternative methods continue to soar in popularity, a new study has indicated.

Research published today (23 July) by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has revealed an increasing number of people are using newer payment technologies that are easier and cheaper than traditional routes such as bank transfers.

For instance, PayPal was used in 150 million transactions worth a total of £1.2 billion ($1.86 billion) across the UK throughout 2011 - a fact that meant credit and debit cards were used less frequently than in previous years.

Indeed, 33 per cent of the retailers questioned indicated they had accepted emerging payment types such as PayPal, Google Checkout and Amazon Payments during last year, with 50 per cent insisting they will be ready to do so by the end of 2012.

Stephen Robertson, director-general of the BRC, commented: "With the market moving away from them, the banks should be making their transaction charging regimes clearer and, above all, cheaper for retailers."

By Gary Cooper