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:

  • There were 1.4 billion transactions on UK cardholders' debit cards in January 2019, 9.5 per cent more than January 2018, with a total value of £50.2 billion, 2.1 per cent higher than a year earlier.
  • There were 251 million transactions on UK cardholders' credit cards in January 2019, 0.8 per cent less than January 2018, with a total value of £15.1 billion, 5.9 per cent lower than a year earlier.
  • While the use of credit cards continues to increase as a preferred payment method, the annual growth rate in outstanding balances stands at 4.0 per cent in January 2019, compared to 8.0 per cent a year earlier for UK cardholders. The reduced appetite for credit card borrowing may reflect rising real wages and consumers exercising caution amid ongoing economic uncertainty.
  • There were 1.6 billion debit and credit card transactions in the UK in January 2019, 12.2 per cent more than a year ago. These transactions had a total value of £60.9 billion, 4.6 per cent higher year-on-year. This data includes transactions on both UK-issued cards and cards issued overseas.
  • Nearly a third of all card transactions in the UK were made using contactless cards. There were 642 million contactless card transactions in January 2019, a 19.5 per cent increase from 537 million a year earlier. The total value of contactless transactions was £5.9 billion in January 2019, an increase of 18.1 per cent from £5.0 billion a year earlier. This data includes transactions on both UK-issued cards and cards issued overseas.

Latest Data

Card Spending Update - January 2019

Card Spending Update (PDF)

Card Spending Update (XLS)

Total Market Data - Credit Card Statistics - January 2019

UK Finance members only