Plastic spending hits new high

Plastic spending hits new high

Continuing growth in debit card payments helped push plastic card transactions in the UK to record highs in December 2003 according to figures from the Association for Payment Clearing Services (Apacs).

With a 12.2% climb in transactions to 328 million, debit cards accounted for 63% all plastic card spending in December. For the year as a whole, debit cards accounted for 64% of all transactions and 53% of the value spent on plastic cards.

Sandra Quinn, director of corporate communications of Apacs, says: "Debit cards are now firmly established as the nation's leading, and growing, non-cash payment tool of choice. 2003 was another year in which their use accelerated, at the expense of both cheque and cash usage."

According to Apacs, £22.7 billion was spent on plastic during December 2003, up from £19.7 billion in the previous year. The number of transactions also rose 11.7% year-on-year to reach 519 million in December 2003.

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