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UK card expenditure statistics – contactless continues rise

UK card expenditure statistics – contactless continues rise

One in five card payments are now made via contactless, new figures show from the UK Card Expenditure Statistics.

Contactless cards were used for 21% of card payments in August 2016, totalling £2.3 billion, figures from The UK Cards Association reveal. In August 2015, they were used for just 7.9% of card purchases.

The average contactless card transaction was £8.97 in August, compared to £7.12 in August 2015.

The number of contactless transactions increased from 89 million in August 2015 to 260.7 million in August 2016, while the number of contactless debit cards in circulation increased from 74.5 million to 97 million in the same period.

Total Spending

£ billions

Annual growth rates for spending Number of purchases


  Aug 2016 Aug 2015 Aug 2016 Aug 2015 Aug 2016 Aug 2015
All payment cards 54.3 52.1 4.3% 8.2% 1,243 1,134
  Of which online 12.6 11.4 11% 12% 157 133
Debit cards 38.6 36.8 5.0% 8.7% 960 868
Credit cards 15.7 15.3 2.6% 7.0% 283 266


  • £54.3 billion was spent on payment cards in August 2016, up 4.2% from £52.1 billion in August 2015
  • Cards were used for 77.6% of retail spending
  • Retail sector card spending increased by £134 million to £25.2 billion in August, while service sector spending rose by £235 million to £29.1 billion.
  • Spending grew more in the service sector than in retail, with growth strong in financial services and hotels. Spending on automotive fuels declined year-on-year
  • Spending grew at tourism-related merchants such as aquariums, amusement parks and tourist attractions, reflecting the summer holidays and the lower value of the pound.
  • Restaurants and pubs saw a growth in spending of 2.8 and 11.9% respectively, while there was also a notable increase at electronics and furniture retailers too.

“Spending on cards as a proportion of overall spending increased to 77% in August, despite a slight downturn in spending in the wake of the EU referendum,” comments Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association.

“More and more spending is via cards, which are central to the economy and used increasingly for smaller, everyday purchases.”

The post UK card expenditure statistics – contactless continues rise appeared first on Payments Cards & Mobile.

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