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 16 September 2021):

Annual data comparisons are impacted by the reduction of lockdown restrictions and the economy re-opening from April 2021, resulting in large percentage variations when compared to 2020. Comparisons with May 2019 have therefore been included below to provide additional context:

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

  • There were 1.9 billion debit card transactions in June, 46.6 per cent more than in June 2020 and 25.4 per cent more than June 2019. The total spend of £60.5 billion was 13.2 per cent higher than June 2020 and 22.3 per cent higher than June 2019.
  • There were 309 million credit card transactions in June, 35.5 per cent more than in June 2020 and 9.3 per cent more than June 2019. The total spend of £16 billion was 32.5 per cent higher than June 2020 but 1.5 per cent less than June 2019.
  • Outstanding balances on credit card accounts have contracted by 6.9 per cent over the twelve months to June, 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 1.8 billion debit and credit card transactions in the UK in June, 42.4 per cent more than in June 2020 and 15.8 per cent more than June 2019. The total spend of £67.4 billion was 19.1 per cent higher than June 2020 and 16 per cent higher than June 2019.
  • Contactless payments accounted for 51 per cent of all credit card and 66 per cent of all debit card transactions.
  • There were 1,169 million contactless card transactions in June, 73.8 per cent more than the 673 million in June 2020 and 69.6 per cent more than the 689 million in June 2019. The total value of contactless transactions was £14.2 billion in June, a 66.2 per cent increase on £8.5 billion in June 2020 and 122.4 per cent increase on £6.4 billion in June 2019.
  • The number of contactless credit card transactions was 92.4 per cent higher than June 2020 and 39.9 per cent higher than June 2019. The number of contactless debit card transactions was 71.4 per cent higher than June 2020 and 75 per cent higher than June 2019.

LATEST DATA:

Card Spending Update - June 2021

Card Spending Update (PDF)