In the UK, bank branches are being closed, stores stop accepting cash, which may lead to the fact that soon the British will not be able to use cash. This was warned by the chief cashier of the Bank of England, Sarah John, pointing to the need for urgent action. She estimates that by 2027 only 16% of payments will be made in cash. UK Finance Trading Association reported that in 2017, debit cards were the most popular payment method in the country thanks to online stores, smartphones and contactless payment technology. Payments using debit cards increased by 14% compared with 2016, while cash transactions decreased by 15%. More than 6,000 bank branches have been closed in the UK since the late 1990s. The number of ATMs is also decreasing in the country, and stores prefer non-cash payments in an effort to reduce costs.