Cash was overtaken by non-cash payments for the first time ever last year.

Figures published today by the Payments Council show that cash payments made by consumers, businesses and financial organisations in the UK fell to 48% last year (from 52% in 2013).

Cash is still the most popular way for consumers to pay- used for 52% of payments in 2014- however this is expected to drop below 50% in 2016. This is partly because younger consumers say they are less reliant on cash.

The number of cash machines also increased reaching a new high of 69,382. This has led to 91% of consumers using the machines to withdraw cash at least once a month. There is no prediction for cash to disappear.

According to Sage Payments Payment Landscape report, consumers are looking for innovative ways to pay.

The research found that over 25% of consumers said they were more likely to shop somewhere which offers a greater range of, or more innovative, payments methods. 22% also said they would adopt contactless payment within the next year.

The report said: “The clear message is “this is not the time to be treading water”, yet our survey suggests that many UK businesses are doing just that. Shoppers appear to have a greater appetite for innovation than retailers and are noticing the disconnect.”

Cash is set to see an overhaul over the next years, as the introduction of a new 12-sided £1 coin is expected to enter circulation in 2015. Plastic £5 and £10 notes are also set to be introduced by the bank of England in 2016 and 2017.