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Card expenditure 'grew strongly last year'

A total of £354 billion was transacted on debit and credit cards last year, new figures from Apacs show.According to the UK payments association, card spending easily beat out cash (£265 billion) and cheques (£194 billion) in 2007 - a situation which looks set to continue in the future.Debit card use grew by 13 per cent across the year to hit a total of £221 billion, while credit card transactions increased by six per cent to £133 billion.By contrast, cash grew by just 0.4 per cent - and cheques decreased by one per cent.Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs, said: "Over the past three years we've seen a pattern emerge: debit cards have increasingly become consumers' first choice over other options, such as cash, cheques and credit cards."Interestingly the report also shows that last year debit cards even gained ground in areas where credit cards have traditionally had a firm hold - particularly on the internet."She added: "We would, however, continue to remind customers that because of the additional consumer protection benefits credit cards provide, you may find a credit card to be a more sensible choice online."

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