Online and Contactless Spend Drive UK Card Volume Growth

by Tristan Hugo-Webb 0

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New data from the UK Cards Association shows that consumer spending on cards has more than doubled in the last decade as e-commerce and contactless cards revitalized the card space. According to the UK Cards Association, card spending has risen from just £270 ($409) billion in 2005 to £566 ($857) billion in 2014. Furthermore, debit cards now account for 71% of spending and have seen the number of people with debit cards increase by around 8 million in the past 10 years.

Commenting on the results, Richard Koch, head of policy, UK Cards Association,

“Today we think nothing of paying for a coffee and a sandwich with a contactless payment card or streaming films on a smartphone which is also enabled for mobile payments. This is so different to a decade ago when we carried more cash and shopped in high street stores…Cards are accepted in more places than ever before and with innovations such as contactless cards and digital wallets, this trend is sure to continue.”

With no signs that contactless or e-commerce is set to decline in the UK in the next few years, one can expect that these card data figures will only continue to grow. While mobile payments could potentially slow or cut into card spending, the relatively weak launch of Apple Pay and other mobile payment services in the UK suggest that the shift from card to mobile will be a number of years away.

Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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