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 October 2020):

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

  • There were 1.5 billion debit card transactions in July, 20.8 per cent more than in June but 4.3 per cent fewer than in July last year. The total spend of £59.1 billion was 17.9 per cent higher than in June and 9.4 per cent higher than last July.
  • There were 261 million credit card transactions in July, 15 per cent more than in June but 20.2 per cent fewer than in July last year. The total spend of £14 billion was 15 per cent higher than in June but 24.8 per cent less than last July.
  • Outstanding balances on credit card accounts have contracted by 13 per cent over the twelve months to July, 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 July, 18 per cent more than in June but 30.4 per cent fewer than in July last year The total spend of £53.6 billion was 15.2 per cent more than the previous month but 16.4 per cent less than last July.
  • Contactless payments accounted for 39 per cent of all credit card and 58 per cent of all debit card transactions.
  • There were 662 million contactless card transactions in July, 27.7 per cent more than in June but 13.5 per cent fewer than the 766 million last July. The total value of contactless transactions was £8 billion in July, a 22.5 per cent rise from June and a 11.1 per cent increase on £7.2 billion last June.
  • The number of contactless credit card transactions was 34.6 per cent higher than in June but 31.8 per cent lower than last July. The number of contactless debit card transactions was 26.8 per cent higher than June but 10.2 per cent lower than last last July.

Eric Leenders, Managing Director of Personal Finance, UK Finance, said:

This data suggests the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards internet shopping, with card spending online reaching a record high in July.

“We are also seeing a marked increase in debit card spending, driven by the growing use of contactless as shoppers take advantage of the new £45 payment limit to make higher value transactions. Credit card spending has recovered slightly but continues to be impacted by ongoing economic uncertainty and fewer opportunities to spend on high value items such as holidays.

“The banking and finance industry’s clear plan continues to support customers during this difficult time, as we work closely with the government and regulators to ensure people can pay in a way that suits them.

LATEST DATA:

Card Spending Update - July 2020

Card Spending Update (PDF)

Total Market Data - Credit Card Statistics

UK Finance members only