Indeed, the cash figure

Research from Apacs released earlier this week provided the news that debit card purchases have, for the first time throughout history, outstripped cash spending in terms of the amount of money splashed out - underlining the flexibility which people today appreciate in relation to making everyday buys.

The figures demonstrated that in 2005 people spent some ?89 billion using debit cards, that has been a significant increase of nine per cent in the previous year's amount and eclipsed the bucks spending total of ?81 billion.

Indeed, the cash figure was a four per cent decrease on that from 2004 - emphasising the noteworthy swing in spending habits which has manifested itself over a period of 12 months.

Broken down, atm cards formed 37 per cent of Brits' retail spending over the course of 2005 while cash accounted for 34 per cent. With charge cards added in the mix, card spending by and large made up some two-thirds of overall retail outlay in the united kingdom.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS spoke of the path which spending patterns took over the past couple of years, saying: "At the end of 2004, we saw total UK spending on plastic overtake cash for the first time, signalling a real sea change in our payment habits.

'This change was mainly driven by debit card use. The 2005 figures show that this trend is continuing with debit card spending in retail outlets crashing through the cash barrier the very first time ever."

She also noted the normal cultural change which debit cards have precipitated, observing that companies are increasingly receptive to card purchases and continuing: "However it is also being led by us as customers - debit cards have existed in the UK for up to 20 years so we now have an entire generation of shoppers who readily delve for their debit card as an alternative to cash."

Debit card users who require a pay day loan benefit greatly from the truth that My Payday Advance pays their sum of between ?1 and ?80,000 into the borrower's account - usually within one day. The convenience and expediency with this allied using the flexibility supplied by carrying a debit card is a winning combination for many who require a spendable sum of money swiftly.

Of course, a payday loan is equally handy for those who would rather make cash purchases - holding an edge over longer-term forms of credit if your needs are immediate and restricted to a relatively small loan. Perhaps you have an unexpectedly high bill to pay or a function to fund - if so, some short-term cash can come in useful and be spent using a variety of methods.

Interestingly, one such time-honoured strategy is, according to the Apacs survey, in decline. Amounts spent using cheques fell by 14 % in 2005 to a relatively meagre ?9 billion - showing that, while this is still a perfectly decent means of expending payday loan, it is actually perhaps becoming undesirable when placed alongside the swiftness of card transactions, especially with the recent coming of chip and PIN.