Contactless debit card payments surge

Contactless payments by debit card reached record levels in August, accounting for 62% of all debit card transactions, according to research by UK Finance.

Just under half (45%) of all credit card transactions were contactless, with the number of in August increasing 14.6% compared with the previous month.

As lockdown restrictions continued to ease at that time and the government launched its Eat Out to Help Out scheme, many consumers continued to take advantage of the £45 contactless spending limit, with the total number of all contactless card transactions in August increasing by 7% compared with July, representing a total spend of £8.2 billion. This was a 3.1% increase from July and a 19.3% hike since last August.

Overall, there were 1.2 billion debit and credit card transactions in the UK in August, 1.3% fewer than the previous month and 27.7% fewer than in August last year. The total spend of £51.6 billion was 3.8% less than July, and 14% less than August 2019.

The value of transactions made by UK debit cardholders remained strong, with total spending on debit cards amounting to £58.4 billion.

August also saw the UK’s annual growth rate of outstanding balances on credit cards continue to decline, falling 12.6% over the 12 months to August as a result of repayments outstripping new borrowing in the year.


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