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UK Payment Card Transactions Exceed 1 Billion a Month

The UK Cards Association has announced that for the first time ever, the number of payment card transactions in the UK has exceeded one billion a month for the first time. According to the industry body, consumers made 1.006 billion transactions using their debit and credit cards in August, up by 9.2% from August 2013.

Breaking down the data, the UK Cards Association announced that UK consumers in August made 774 million payments via debit cards and 232 million via credit cards which both represented an increase of nearly 10% from the year before. In terms of spending, overall debit card spending rose to £33.6 billion ($54.08) and spending on credit cards reached £13.7 ($22.05) billion which represent year-over-year growth of 7.9% and 4.3% respectively. 

Commenting on the news, “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, its debit cards in particular that are leading the rise.” 

With the macroeconomic conditions across Europe and the UK improving significantly, consumers are more willing to spend their hard earned income. While the UK has long been a mature payment card market, shifting preferences has seen consumers move to electronic payments over traditional payment instruments like cash more quickly. As a result, moving forward the volume and value of spending on electronic payment cards in the UK will only grow more rapidly. 
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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