Consumers spent £647 billion using payment cards in 2016, new figures show. There were 14.8 billion card transactions in 2016, equivalent to 40.5 million transactions a day or 469 a second, data from The UK Cards Association shows.
Three-quarters of retail spending (76.4 per cent) was on payment cards. Retail spending on cards in 2016 was £298 billion, compared to £290 billion in 2015. The majority of card spending in 2016 was made via debit cards, which accounted for £461 billion of spending. Total card spending in 2015 was £620 billion.
Contactless payments accounted for £25 billion of spending, compared to £7.75 billion in 2015, with 2.9 billion contactless transactions made in 2016. In January 2016, one in seven card payments were made using contactless, compared to one in four in November.
Graham Peacop, Chief Executive of The UK Cards Association, said, “Cards are the preferred way to pay for millions of consumers and underpin the retail economy. Contactless cards are increasingly becoming the payment method of choice for everyday, low-value purchases, with a quarter of card payments now contactless.”
The sub-sector with the highest spending was on food and drink, at £114 billion during 2016, an average of £9.5 billion per month.