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UK card spend tops £0.5 trillion for first time

Annual domestic card spending by UK consumers passed £0.5 trillion for the first ever time in 2013 as shoppers increasingly choose cards over cash, according to a report published by The UK Cards Association. Around 74.5% of all retail spending is now made using debit and credit cards, up from less than half (46.5%) in 2003, highlighting a clear shift in consumer behaviour in the past decade.

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UK consumers are choosing cards over cash

The UK Card Payments 2014 report reveals that UK consumers spent £520 billion on UK goods and services using their debit and credit cards last year, a rise of 6.7% since 2012 (£488 billion). Card spending has more than doubled over the last decade, up from £244 billion in 2003. Adding spending by overseas visitors, the total value of purchases on debit and credit cards in 2013 was £534 billion, meaning that spending on cards now constitutes a third (33 per cent) of the UK’s total GDP (£1,612 billion in 2013).

There are a total of 175.6 million cards in issue in the UK: 95.7 million debit cards (up 5.1% since 2012); 55.4 million credit cards (down 1.9%); 18.2 million ATM-only cards (up 5%); and 6.3 million charge cards (down 4.8%).

According to the UK Cards Association, both the volume and value of credit and debit card transactions are forecast to increase substantially over the next 10 years. By 2023, the total volume of card payments is expected to rise to 17.7 billion, up from 10.7 billion transactions in 2013. The total value of payments is expected to increase from £520 billion in 2013 to around £874 billion in 2023.

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