The pound in our pocket is increasingly being displaced by the plastic in our wallet says the UK Cards Association, with new figures showing that the number of debit and credit card transactions made in a single month passed one billion for the first time in August.
Consumers made 1.006 billion transactions using their debit and credit cards in the UK in August, up by 9.2% on the same month in 2013. The milestone means that there are now over 375 card transactions made every second in the UK.
The new figures reflect the growing trend for consumers to choose cards over cash for purchases, says the Association, with debit cards leading the charge.
In August, 774 million purchases were made using a debit card, up 9.5% from the same time in 2013, compared with 232 million purchases made with a credit card, an 8.4% rise. Overall spending on debit cards grew at 7.9% year-on-year, to £33.6 billion, nearing double the growth rate of credit card expenditure, which increased by 4.3% to £13.7 billion.
Richard Koch, head of policy at The UK Cards Association, says: "A billion card transactions in a month is a major milestone and a clear indicator of the transformation in how we all spend. Rather than walking around with wads of notes or pockets full of coins, we're increasingly choosing to use a card instead. With the rise in contactless transactions as a convenient way to make smaller payments, and online shopping too, it's debit cards in particular that are leading the rise."