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Payment Cards Dominate UK Retail Spending

01 October 2019 - 12:12 by Sarah Collinson

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Figures published by the BRC reveal that 80 per cent of all transactions carried out last year in the UK were conducted thanks to the use of credit and debit cards, continuing the trend for dominance that this method has enjoyed for some time now.

21.5 per cent of payments were made by credit cards, while debit cards retained the lead in terms of total transactions handled, showing that people are usually more interested in paying out directly from their current accounts.

The popularity of safe shopping online has certainly helped to boost card transactions over the past decade, while the decline in cash payments has been significant especially since 2013, with consumers finding it far more convenient to rely on electronic methods rather than more traditional solutions.

That is not to say that cash does not have a role to play in the retail sector, with analysts indicating that it is especially important for consumers who do not necessarily have access to the same resources as regular users of payment cards. Indeed, there are now concerted efforts being initiated to ensure that cash is readily accessible across the country, even if there is generally less demand for it.

One significant aspect of the report is that it reveals that payment cards are remaining relevant in spite of the rise of alternative online payment methods. Platforms like PayPal have failed to steal a significant slice of the market, even if they are instrumental in facilitating some forms of online shopping and have carved out a niche that is complementary to, rather than in opposition to, credit and debit cards in many cases.

Ultimately, it seems that consumers are exercising their right to choose from a multitude of payment methods to fulfil their shopping needs in the modern era.