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2010 facts and figures

Quarterly market trends

The quarterly statistical release provides a regular update, with statistics covering debit and credit card spending, credit card lending and repayments and outstanding balances. This is an example of the regular dissemination of industry information.


Number of cards at year end

  • The number of adults with a credit or charge card was 31.2 million, representing 64% of the adult population.
  • 19.8 million credit or charge card holders used their cards regularly at least once a month, down from 20.2 million in 2009.
  • There were 165.3 million cards in issue – 55.6 million credit cards, 6.6 million charge cards, 84.6 million debit cards, 18.6 million ATM-only cards and 0.2 million stand-alone cheque guarantee cards.

Credit and charge card figures

Credit card purchases

  • Credit and charge cards were used to make 2.0 billion payments in the UK to a value of £136 billion.
  • Each personal cardholder has 1.95 credit or charge cards.
  • Credit and charge card purchase volumes are projected to increase to 2.9 billion by 2020, with spend in that year of £194 billion.

Debit card figures

Debit card transactions* as percentage of card market

  • Debit cards were used to make 6.4 billion purchases in the UK to a value of £292 billion.
  • Debit cards were used 2.4 billion times to acquire £172 billion of cash in the UK.
  • There were 44.9 million debit card holders, accounting for 89% of the adult population.
  • There were 33.1 million regular users of debit cards, each making 190 payments on average during the year in the UK.
  • More than 60% of all debit card holders had only one debit card while 3% had four or more.
  • The number of debit card payments is forecast to grow from 6.4 billion to 12.8 billion payments between 2010 and 2020, and spending to increase from £292 billion to £616 billion over the same period.

Internet card use

Consumer internet card spending

  • 36.6 million adults purchased goods and services over the internet, equating to 72% of the adult population.
  • 717 million card payments were made online with a total spend of £ 53.6 billion. Of these payments, 54% were made using debit cards and 46% using credit or charge cards.
  • The average value of online debit card and credit or charge card transactions were £66 and £85 respectively.
  • Card fraud losses in 2010 totalled £365 million, a decrease of around £75 million or 17% on 2009.

Card expenditure statistics

Card Expenditure Statistics reveal where credit, debit and charge cards are used in the UK. They are reported to The UK Cards Association by banks and other financial institutions, known as merchant acquirers, that process plastic card transactions on behalf of businesses and enterprises.

Spending is shown separately for debit and credit cards, by volume and by value, and the location is broken down into the principle UK retail and services sectors with a detailed analysis covering over 100 merchant categories across the full range of industries in the UK.

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