UK credit and debit cards - Statistics & Facts

In Britain, credit and debit cards grew in popularity in recent years as a means of payment. It was forecasted that by 2026, approximately 60 million card transactions daily will take place in the UK. In the case of credit cards, the card issuer (usually a bank) creates revolving credit accounts and grants a line of credit to the cardholder. Debit cards allow the holder to spend money using funds deposited with the card provider institution. In October 2019, the value of card purchases on debit cards reached 51.03 billion British pounds, while credit card transactions accounted for 15.12 billion British pounds.

Contactless payment systems (based on near field communication - NFC - for secure mobile payments) were one of the major developments in terms of payment cards technology in recent years. The total number of contactless card transactions on the British market grew rapidly between June 2015 and October 2019, from 81.2 million to 761 million. As of the same month, the total number of contactless credit cards in the United Kingdom amounted to almost 47 million, whereas contactless debit cards were counted at approximately 84.4 million. A 2018 UK survey found that the majority of British consumers preferred to shop where contactless payments were accepted.

In the United Kingdom, cash is no longer king. Now card payments and e-wallet purchases are more commonplace than the traditional methods. In 2018, the two newer methods made up for almost 80 percent of purchases made. For online purchases, cash on delivery made up for less than ten percent of transactions. With cash being used by consumers for less purchases, it makes sense that the number of cash withdrawals being made at ATM’s across the UK has fallen annually since 2012.



Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 23 most important statistics relating to "Payment cards in the United Kingdom (UK)".

Credit and debit cards in the United Kingdom

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Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Payment cards in the United Kingdom (UK)" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Debit and credit card market

Fraud loses on credit and debit cards

Contactless cards

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