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2011 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

  • There were 165.1 million cards in issue – 54.5 million credit cards, 6.4 million charge cards, 86.3 million debit cards and 17.9 million ATM-only cards.
  • 18.9 million cardholders used their cards regularly at least once per month to make purchases in the UK. On average regular users made 104 payments during the year, spending £117 per week on their cards.

Credit and charge card figures

Credit card purchases

  • Credit and charge cards were used to make 2.1 billion purchases in the UK to a value of £140 billion.
  • There were 30.9 million credit and charge card holders, equivalent to 62% of the adult population.
  • 82% of all credit and charge card spending in 2011 was made by cardholders who repaid the balance in full.

Debit card figures

Debit card transactions* as percentage of card market

  • Debit cards were used to make 7.3 billion purchases in the UK to a value of £334 billion.
  • There were 45.7 million debit card holders, equivalent to 90% of the adult population.
  • There were 36.9 million regular users of debit cards for purchases in the UK, each making on average 195 payments during the year.
  • More than 60% of debit card holders had just one debit card while 3% had four or more.
  • Debit cards accounted for 48% of the value of UK retail sales.
  • Debit cards were used 2.6 billion times to acquire £178 billion of cash in the UK.

Internet use

Consumer internet card spending

  • 37.6 million adults purchased goods and services over the internet, equating to 75% of the population.
  • 836 million card payments were made online by UK consumers with a total spend of £63 billion. These online payments accounted for 8.5% of purchases made using UK cards. Of these payments, 56% were made using debit cards and 44% using credit or charge cards.
  • The average value of a consumer internet debit card transaction was £65.86, and for credit or charge card transactions it was £88.12.

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.


Detailed Sector Breakdown

The Detailed Sector Breakdown is an Excel spreadsheet that details the values and volumes of credit and debit card spending since January 2005. This document will be updated when the card expenditure statistics are updated (monthly).

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