E-commerce is boosting payment card usage in the UK

Online consumer numbers are increasing

According to a study published by the Payments Council, the increased use of the debit card is a direct result of the growth of the e-commerce industry, as large numbers of consumers now take to the internet to purchase goods and services, rather than cash transactions in-store.

A spokesperson for the Payments Council said that there has been a subtle yet significant shift in the payment habits of UK consumers, and that such behavioural transitions have led to the reduction in the cost of making payment card transactions. The switch to online shopping is set to continue as research from Boston Consulting Group predicts that the UK’s internet economy will expand at 11 per cent for the next four years, and by 2016, online will account for one in four of all retail purchases made.

Surrey-based SmartDebit offer an e-commerce facility enabling their clients to accept Direct Debits online. Providing the option to either fully integrate into the heart of their Direct Debit processing systems via their Application Programming Interface (API), or simply signing up customers through their hosted pages. A spokesperson from the bureau commented: “The number of consumers purchasing online is increasing as they are able to find the best price for the product or service they want with just a few clicks of a button. The UK online retail market was predicted to be worth £77bn in 2012, and research shows that e-commerce will be UK companies’ biggest IT investment over the next three years as they look to capitalise on the rapid growth of this market.” He continues, “Interestingly, the predicted boom of mobile payments over the next decade may combine with future computer technology, as experts report that consumers could be able to use their computer as an e-commerce checkout with NFC connectivity-enabled smartphones.”

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