13th October 2017

UK Finance publishes debit card expenditure statistics

UK Finance has published new figures for debit card spending in the UK. In total, there were 1.3 billion debit card payments made in July, worth £46.5bn. The number of debit card payments increased by 12 per cent since August 2016.

Domestic Debit card spending continues to increase month on month, rising a further +0.8 per cent in August when compared with July. Spending abroad continues to increase; rising a further 0.8 per cent on July; only the second consecutive increase since October – November 2016.

The average transaction value (ATV) for all debit card purchases continues to decrease reaching its lowest level (£37.31) since February 2002, and compares with £48.60 at its peak in June 2010. The average monthly spend per card increased for the fifth consecutive month reaching £476, up from £442 a year ago.

The number of debit cards in issue decreased to 97.8 million at the end of August, the first decrease for three months, resulting in debit cards in issue to reach its lowest level since July 2015. When compared with August 2016, the number of debit cards in circulation has decreased by 2.8 million.

The number of contactless debit cards continues to show a strong growth with most issuers now issuing contactless cards as standard. According to data reported to UK Finance, the number of contactless debit cards in issue grew by 0.7 million to 75.9 million. In spite of the continuing monthly increase contactless debit cards still account for 67 per cent of all contactless cards in the UK. With their ever increasing popularity and ease of use 78 per cent of debit cards are now contactless, up from 66 per cent a year ago.

Commenting, Richard Koch, Head of Cards at UK Finance, said: “Online card spending has jumped by a quarter year-on-year, reflecting how consumers are increasingly turning to the internet and using their cards whether it’s for shopping, entertainment or travel. Overall, while total card spending dipped slightly in August, the start of the new academic year and the end of the summer holidays meant there were large month-on-month increases in spending at educational establishments, amusement parks and aquariums.”