Debit card is king for consumers

18 May 2009

Consumers' use of debit cards has increased during the first quarter of the year compared to the corresponding period of 2008, while credit card use declined, according to the latest figures from UK payments association Apacs.

There were a total of 1.9 billion plastic card purchases made in the UK between January and the end of March, worth some £94.2 billion ($142.9 billion).

This was up from 1.8 million card purchases totaling £91.2 billion during the first three months of 2008.

Debit card transactions made up 74.5 percent of all card purchases, up from 73.3 percent in Q1 of last year.

The number and value of debit card purchases has grown in each month of the first quarter, rising from 459,663 transactions worth £20.5 billion in January to 469,433 transactions worth £20.9 billion in February and 499,406 transactions worth £21.9 billion in March.

Gross credit card lending over the same period declined 8.7 per cent to £30.3 billion, while repayments were 7.9 per cent down at £29.6 billion.

Apacs figures for last year show debit card spending rose 6.8 percent to £116.1bn, while credit card spending was down 0.6 percent at £60.7 billion.

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