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Increased debit card usage in UK's online marketplaces

04 July 2013 - 13:10 by Simon Crisp

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The latest stats show that British consumers spent more via safe shopping online using their debit cards over the course of 2012 than ever before, allowing this type of payment to eclipse credit cards, which is another first.

People spent 35 billion through e-commerce sites using their debit cards, according to BBC News, which is just ahead of the 34 billion in transactions channelled through credit cards.

Credit cards are not only becoming less commonly used online, but are also seeing similar slides in-store, as the debit card rises to prominence on the high street.

An average debit card user in 2012 made 205 purchases using their payment method of choice, which is 10 more than in 2011.

Part of the reason for debit cards becoming far more popular is that more retailers are now offering support for them and chip and pin payments have helped their spread.

Ninety one percent of Brits have a debit card, compared with the 61 per cent who have committed to credit card usage.

It is also very easy and secure to buy products from sites offering safe shopping online when using a debit card, sidestepping the fees and other charges which might be present for credit card payments.

The UK Card Association reports that within the next decade, even more money will be spent via payment cards in the UK. It will rise from the 477 billion spent last year to over 840 billion by 2023.

Of course, this prediction is contingent on the concept of using mobile phones to make contactless payments not becoming a particularly mainstream form of transaction.

A growing number of smartphones support this technology and if Apple's next iPhone enters the NFC fray, then things could look quite different in 10 years.