Card spending ‘doubled’

Cards are now indespensible
Cards are now indespensible

Consumers’ spending on cards has doubled over the last decade, as people increasingly use plastic to pay for everyday goods such as pasties and pints as well as when shopping using their smartphones.

In 2014, people spent £566 billion using their cards, compared with £270bn-worth of spending in 2005, figures from trade body the UK Cards Association show.

Pubs, restaurants, and bakers’ shops are among the businesses to have seen particularly strong growth in card spending in recent years, the Association said.

On average, one billion purchases were made a month using cards in 2014, up from 500 million card purchases a month in 2005.

The soaring popularity of contactless payments, where previously people would have used cash, as well as the huge growth in internet shopping, have helped the dramatic increase.

Nearly eight million more people in the UK have a debit card compared with a decade ago. Around 48.5 million people held a debit card in 2014, up from 40.8 million 10 years earlier.

While debit cards accounted for around two-thirds (67%) of the number of card purchases in 2005, by the end of last year they accounted for more than three-quarters (77%) of card purchases, with credit cards making up the remaining 23 per cent.