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Card usage: in UK debit cards domination is growing, while credit cards are for higher value transac

Recent statistics from the UK and the USA reveal some important features of cards at the point of sale, confirming that debit card dominations is growing and that the role of the credit card is for higher-value transactions.

In April in the UK, the stats show that: the total number of cards is growing; the debit card domination is growing - spending is not only bigger than credit cards it is growing faster, and the same for the number of purchases. See Figure below:

Source & Copyright©2012 - The UK Card Association

The UK Card Association's April figure also showed that the average value of debit card transactions was £45 and for credit cards £65.

The Nilson Report reported that in 2011 in the credit card dominated USA :

  • spending on debit cards grew by 12.4% (credit cards 9.8%) and took 43% of total spending
  • debit card transactions represented 72% of total
  • average value of a transaction on debit cards: $38 (credit cards: $100).

In rest of Europe, there is an even heavier use of debit cards, and this is growing too.

 Unlike cheques, credit cards are a fixed and irreplaceable part of the way many consumers pay. Debit cards share of the consumer spending will continue to grow, particularly in the current financial crisis where consumers need  to spend only what monies they have and not to extend their borrowing. The growing move to mobile phone initiated payments won't change this behaviour.

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