Record credit card use over Christmas period driven by fraud concerns

Greater payment protection on credit cards will keep Christmas shoppers safer online, as experts predict greater reliance on revolving credit over festive period

Equiniti, the FTSE-250 fintech business, expects that Christmas shoppers will spend record amounts on credit cards as consumers search for safer online shopping.

Credit card payments have already seen an uptick in the value of payments made in 2017 with over £3 trillion already spent on credit cards up to October (the latest data available), compared to the £2.9 trillion spent over the same period in 20161.

Faster Payments, the most common form of ‘push payment’, have also seen an increase in the value of payments between January and November period rising to £1.1 trillion in 2017 to just over £1 trillion the previous year2.

Last December, a total of £306 billion was spent on credit cards but Equiniti expects that this will rise again in 2017, as customer concerns grow over the security of some online payments.

Classified as a pull payment, rather than the push method of Faster Payments, credit cards give the shopper far more protection. Section 75 will provide fraud cover for credit cards on transactions of £100-30,000, while the Chargeback rules applicable to debit cards will also be valid on this form of payment.

Paul Woodworth, Managing Director at Equiniti Gateway, commented: “Each year sees more Christmas shopping done online and becoming a victim of a scam could ruin a family Christmas. It is fairly common knowledge now that using credit cards offers an extra layer of protection so it is no surprise to expect plastic spending to peak this year.

“The important thing is that people continue to manage their spending: the temptation to bust budgets over the festive period is hard to resist but it could lead to a very glum January.”


1 – Credit card payments

2 – Faster Payments

Equiniti is a specialist outsourcer delivering technology-enabled solutions to some of the best-known brands and public-sector organisations in the UK, including c.70 of the companies in the FTSE 100. It is the UK’s leading provider of share registration and associated investor services, and also has market leading positions in administration of employee share plans, pension administration and software, and employee benefit schemes. Equiniti’s services, which are delivered by over 4,300 employees, benefit 28 million people in the UK and 120 countries around the world.