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Online shopping causes boom in payment card spending

14 December 2015 - 11:31 by Graham Miller

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People in the UK are spending twice as much money via credit and debit cards today than they were a decade ago, according to a new report.

The figures published by the UK Cards Association indicate that in 2014 the total spent via payment cards in the UK was £566 billion, a significantly higher sum than the £270 billion that card payments hit in 2005.

Last year cards were used to make an average of one billion purchases each month, which again is twice the figure seen ten years earlier. And the rise of safe shopping online, along with the popularity of PIN and NFC payments in-store, has helped to cause this revolution, according to the Mirror.

Payment cards are not only used more regularly, but they are also more common, with banks managing to encourage eight million additional customers to receive and use debit cards.

Interestingly, the number of credit card customers has remained essentially unchanged since 2005, with around half the population having this type of payment card in their wallet.

Debit cards have even managed to increase the proportion of payments for which they are used, meaning that 77 per cent of purchases were carried out via this method last year.

The report also revealed changing habits among consumers, with people taking more regular trips to supermarket and grocery outlets while spending less on average with each transaction.

When it comes to safe shopping online, one of the most secure ways to pay for items is via a credit or debit card. But services like PayPal have provided alternatives which are still, ultimately, tied in to the existing financial infrastructure, meaning that there are more ways to pay than ever before, giving consumers the power to choose their own preferred route at the checkout.