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Thursday 18 October 2018


Contactless spending share doubles in May

Written by Chris Lemmon

Spending on contactless cards accounted for 18 per cent of total card expenditure in May, compared with seven per cent in the same month last year, according to the latest statistics from The UK Cards Association.

While overall card spending growth continued to slow – with May registering the lowest level since July 2013 – contactless cards bucked the trend, with spending up 247 per cent year-on-year.

Total card expenditure rose to £52.6 billion, with seasonal shopping via omnichannel retailers driving this growth, the association noted. There were a total of 1.2 billion purchases in May, an increase of 13 million on the previous month. Debit cards continued to dominate the card market, accounting for 77 per cent of all card transactions.

Online spending also increased £115 million to reach £12.6 billion in May – making up 24 per cent of total card spending.

Retail sector expenditure was up £154 million year-on-year, reaching a total of £24.6 billion, while food and drink sector spending rose by £40 million to £9.3 billion. There was also strong growth in the entertainment sector with customers in pubs, restaurants, digital entertainment and sporting establishments contributing to high spending levels.

Richard Koch, head of policy at The UK Cards Association, said: “Cards are the preferred way to pay for millions of consumers, whether picking up something small and using a contactless card or shopping online. With payment cards being used more than ever, we expect these trends to continue.”

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