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 20 April 2021):

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

  • There were 1.2 billion debit card transactions in January, 26.6 per cent fewer than in December and 18.1 per cent fewer than in January 2020. The total spend of £47.8 billion was 18.8 per cent less than in December and 7.3 per cent less than January 2020.
  • There were 196 million credit card transactions in January, 32.9 per cent fewer than in December and 31.1 per cent fewer than in January 2020. The total spend of £10.7 billion was 27.6 per cent less than in December and 37.9 per cent less than January 2020.
  • Outstanding balances on credit card accounts have contracted by 20.7 per cent over the twelve months to January, as a result of repayments outstripping new borrowing in the year.

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

  • There were 1.2 billion debit and credit card transactions in the UK in January, 26.7 per cent fewer than in December and 23.6 per cent fewer than in January 2020. The total spend of £53.2 billion was 17.5 per cent less than the previous month and 10.5 per cent less than January 2020.
  • Contactless payments accounted for 35 per cent of all credit card and 57 per cent of all debit card transactions.
  • There were 645 million contactless card transactions in January, 31.3 per cent fewer than in December and 26.6 per cent fewer than the 878 million in January 2020. The total value of contactless transactions was £8 billion in January, a 34 per cent decrease from December and a 2.8 per cent decrease on £8.3 billion in January 2020.
  • The number of contactless credit card transactions was 37.7 per cent lower than in December and 44.6 per cent lower than January 2020. The number of contactless debit card transactions was 30.5 per cent lower than December and 23.5 per cent lower than January 2020.

LATEST DATA:

Card Spending Update - January 2021

Card Spending Update (PDF)

Total Market Data - Credit Card Statistics

UK Finance members only