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Card expenditure statistics August 2014

Card transactions top one billion a month for first time

  • 375 transactions now made every second in the UK, with debit cards leading the rise.

The number of debit and credit card transactions made in a single month passed one billion for the first time in August, according to the latest figures from The UK Cards Association.

Consumers made 1.006 billion transactions using their debit and credit cards in the UK in August, up by 9.2 per cent on the same month in 2013. The milestone means that there are now over 375 card transactions made every second in the UK.

The new figures reflect the growing trend for consumers to choose cards over cash for purchases. At the same time debit cards are increasingly the preferred method, with the growth in both the number and value of transactions increasing at a faster rate for debit than for credit cards.

In August, 774 million purchases were made using a debit card, up 9.5 per cent from the same time in 2013, compared with 232 million purchases made with a credit card, an 8.4 per cent rise. Overall spending on debit cards grew at 7.9 per cent year-on-year, to £33.6 billion, nearing double the growth rate of credit card expenditure, which increased by 4.3 per cent to £13.7 billion.

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at 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. 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.”

As the growth in the volume of transaction continues to outstrip the rise in value, the average card transaction amount fell by 15p between July and August, down to £47.14.

Spending by sector

The key movements to note are:

  • Retail sector spending rose by £119 million to £23.5 billion in August, driven by food and drink and household goods, such as electronics and furniture, in particular.
  • The biggest increases in total card spending between July and August were recorded in aquariums (up 46 per cent) and amusement parks (up 35 per cent).
  • The payment cards share of total retail sales was 75.5 per cent in August.

To view the full press release, please click the link below.

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