Card transactions on the rise, says UK cards association

August saw the number of debit and credit card transactions pass one billion for the first time, as consumers make fewer purchases in cash.

Research by the UK Cards Association found that UK 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 more than 375 card transactions made every second in the UK.

“A billion card transactions in a month is a major milestone and a clear indicator of the transformation in how we all spend,” said Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association. “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, its debit cards in particular that are leading the rise.”

The UK Cards Association said that 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 £33.6bn, nearing double the growth rate of credit card expenditure, which increased by 4.3 per cent to £13.7bn.

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