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Credit and debit cards used more often than ever


The average value of a purchase with a credit or debit card has dropped recently, suggesting that card payments are becoming an even bigger part of customer shopping habits.

The average transaction for credit and debit cards fell by £1.40 over the last 12 months, and it now stands at £47.51. These figures suggest that more people are using cards for regular everyday spending, rather than just for big purchases.

The research was conducted by the UK Cards Association, and they said that factors for the drop in value included supermarket price wars, budget retailers and the use of contactless cards.

One of the other key drivers has been the rise of internet shopping. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 79% of British adults have paid for something online this year, whilst 87% of internet purchases were done so using a credit or debit card.

The UK Card Association claimed that younger people generally used debit cards when purchasing something online, whilst older people used credit cards as they offer more protection for higher value purchases.


Whilst credit and debit card payments are easier for the customer, some businesses are unhappy with the added costs of accepting card payments.

This is because every time a purchase is made using a credit or debit card, the seller has to pay an ‘interchange fee’ to their bank, which is more expensive than accepting cash.

Recent findings by the British Retail Consortium revealed that over the last five years, there has been a 14% fall in the use of cash and an 11% increase in the use of debit cards.

Because of this continued trend in spending habits where card payments appear to be growing in popularity, the overall cost of accepting payment has also been growing, leading to fears that profit margins will continue to be hit even harder in the future.

However, there have been calls from the European Commission for these charges to be capped, but it is believed it could take several years for this to be implemented.

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