Card spending

Card Spending covers the monthly value and volume of transactions across debit and credit cards, both in the UK, and of UK-issued cards across the world. This data also covers outstanding balances on credit cards, card issuance and contactless payments.

Key data highlights (updated 31 March 2020):

Card transactions by UK cardholders both in the UK and overseas:

  • There were a total of 18.2 billion transactions on debit cards in 2019, 9.7 per cent more than in 2018. This reflected a total spend of £606.5 billion, 1.6 per cent more than in 2018.
  • There were a total of 3.4 billion transactions on credit cards in 2019, 5.4 per cent more than in 2018. This reflected a total spend of £197.5 billion, 2.6 per cent more than in 2018.
  • The annual growth rate of outstanding balances on credit cards stood at 3.0 per cent in December 2019, continuing the downward trend from its recent peak of 8.3 per cent at the start of 2018.

Card transactions made in the UK by cardholders from both the UK and from overseas countries:

  • There were a total of 19.7 billion debit and credit card transactions in 2019, 7.3 per cent more than in 2018. This reflected a total spend of £721.7 billion, 0.2 per cent more than in 2018.
  • 32 per cent of credit card transactions and 47 per cent of debit card transactions in the UK were made using contactless cards during 2019.
  • In total there were 8.6 billion contactless card transactions in 2019, a 16.4 per cent increase from 7.4 billion in the 2018. Growth in credit card contactless transactions were 22.5 per cent more than the year earlier and debit card contactless transactions were 15.4 per cent more than the year earlier.
  • The total value of contactless transactions was £80.5 billion in 2019, a 16.5 per cent increase from £69.0 billion in 2018. Currently 84 per cent of cards in issue have contactless functionality compared to 78 per cent at the end of 2018. Growth in contactless usage has slowed down as the majority of cards now have contactless functionality.

LATEST DATA:

Card Spending Update - December 2019

Card Spending Update (PDF)

Card Spending Update (XLS)

Total Market Data - Credit Card Statistics

UK Finance members only