Growth in payment card transactions charted in the UK

Out-Law News | 14 Oct 2014 | 3:19 pm | 1 min. read

There were more than one billion credit and debit card payments made in the UK during August, according to new statistics published by a card industry body.

The UK Cards Association said it is the first time that the number of payment card transactions made during any month in the UK has surpassed the one billion mark. The 1.006bn payment card transactions made in August is an increase of more than 9% on August 2013, it said.

More than 75% of UK retail sales are made with payment cards, the UK Cards Association said.

"A billion card transactions in a month is a major milestone and a clear indicator of the transformation in how we all spend," Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association, said. "Rather than walking around with wads of notes or pockets full of coins, we’re increasingly choosing to use a card instead. With the rise in contactless transactions as a convenient way to make smaller payments, and online shopping too, it’s debit cards in particular that are leading the rise."

According to the new card expenditure statistics (23-page / 634KB PDF), 774 million debit card purchases were made by UK consumers in August this year. There were 232m credit card purchases during the same period.

The increase in the number of payment card transactions was also reflected in an increase being recorded in the value of consumers' payment card spending. The UK Cards Association said August's total debit card expenditure was valued at £33.6bn, up 8% on August 2013 values. Credit card purchases for August totalled £13.7bn in value and were up by 4% on the comparative total for August last year, it said.

The figures also showed that the average transaction values of payment card purchases in the UK continues to decline.