UK Credit and Debit Card Spending Passes £0.5tn

 Monday, 7 July 2014

 Prepaid News

UK Credit and Debit Card Spending Passes £0.5tn

Card spending in the UK has doubled over the last decade, with 3 in every 4 pounds now being spent on them.

According to a report from the UK Cards Association, Brits spent £520bn on their cards for goods and services in 2013 – a rise on 2012 of some 6.7%, and a 53% increase on the £244bn that was spent on cards back in 2003.

74.5% of all retail spending is now made using debit and credit cards, which is a sharp increase on the figure of 46.5% back in 2003, demonstrating a distinct shift in consumer behaviour away from cash. The increase means that card-based transactions now constitute a third of the UK’s GDP.

Cards are expected to see another boost from July when London buses make the switch to no longer accept cash as payment, forcing travellers to use either an Oyster card or contactless credit/debit card to pay their fares.

The report also showed that the total number of cards in the UK are up, with there now being 175m cards in the market, which is an average of 4.5 cards per person, which is higher than the EU average but lower than that in the US. The biggest growth in cards came from debit cards, rising 5% on last year, with credit cards actually falling some 1.9% over the same period.

Despite this growth, the UK is still lagging behind countries when it comes to card usage including the US and much of Scandinavia, where residents make upwards of 500 transactions on their cards each year and Brits averaging just 359 transactions. However, the UK is still way ahead of many of its European neighbours including the likes of Spain, Germany and Italy, where the average number of transactions is 50-100 per person.

Soure: UK Card Payments 2014 report