A study by Mastercard has revealed that credit and debit card use is being curtailed by consumer fears of fraud.
Customers feel that their card details are most at risk when cards are used to pay for goods at market stalls, with more than 55 per cent of respondents lacking confidence in the integrity of stall-holders.
However, consumer confidence in restaurants, pubs, hotels and petrol stations all fared nearly as badly.
The retail industry scored much better, with only 10 per cent of respondents feeling that their cards were at risk when used in stores.
Mastercard general manager for business services, northern Europe Paul Lucraft cited the figures as evidence that consumers will embrace Chip and PIN when it comes into widespread use next year. This should stimulate the use of cash cards across all consumer activities, including retail.
He said: 'This survey shows that people are already looking forward to the greater security that Chip and PIN delivers, because paying by plastic is much safer and more convenient that carrying large amounts of cash'.
According to the Association of Payments and Clearing Services (APACS), about£136 million was lost to fraudsters because of lost or stolen cards, or ID theft.
The survey was conducted by research house TNS on the Internet. The research used a sample of 1,086 UK adults aged between 16 and 64.