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UK online card payments jump by a fifth in a year

The number of online card payments made on the internet has increased by 20% in the past year with consumers spending £11.5 billion online in August, according to the latest figures from The UK Cards Association.

There were 130 million card payments online in August – almost 50 a second – up from 108 million in the same period last year. Just as contactless technology is driving the use of cards instead of cash for lower value payments, consumers are also using cards for smaller purchases online too.

A table showing UK online card payment spend

UK online card payments jump by a fifth in a year


The average value of an online card transaction has dropped by £8.44 in the past year, down to £85.27. Overall, more than a fifth (22.4%) of all card spending is now online. Almost half (47%) of all card spending on financial services is online – the highest proportion for any sector.

Only 7% of the total card spending on food and drink is online, although this has increased from 5% in August 2014. In total, all card spending increased by 0.5% during August to reach £51.1 billion. There were 1.1 billion card transactions in the month.

“Whether it’s on the move using a mobile device, at work or home, the rise in online transactions shows how increasingly important the internet is in our everyday lives,” comments Richard Koch, Head of Policy and The UK Cards Association.

“Card payments are central to this transformation, enabling companies to do business online and consumers to make safe, reliable transactions.”

Spending by sector:

  • Retail sector spending increased by £40 million to £24.0 billion in August, driven by household goods, and spending on sports shops and cosmetic stores.
  • Educational establishments, car rental and aquariums recorded substantial rises in spending in August.
  • The debit and credit card share of total retail sales was 76.4% in August.

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