Card Transactions on the Rise, More Proof Cash is Out?

Figures released by UK Finance find the number of debit and credit card transactions grew by 12% in the UK in the year to the end of June, the highest annual rate since 2008. The value of spending also rose, accelerating to 7.2%.

Lenders are currently facing the pending challenge of upping their game after The Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) highlighted the need to address lending concerns.

Ian Bradbury, Chief Technology Officer, Financial Services Business at Fujitsu UK and Ireland, told Finance Monthly:

“With the use of contactless payment cards soaring by over 140% in the past year alone, the news that UK credit and debit card spending is growing at its fastest rate in nine years comes as no surprise. We expect contactless payments to become an increasingly important feature in the British payments landscape. Making up around a third of all plastic card transactions – up from around 10% just a couple of years ago – the convenience and ease of contactless payment means that such transactions are continuing to gain traction with the public. Not only this, the high-growth adoption of contactless payments underlines the fact that consumers and retailers choose to adopt solutions that are secure, quick and easy to use, as well as ubiquitous.

Contactless payments are not only easier to use than Chip and Pin, they are in many ways more practical than small change and small notes. The significant parallel growth in debit card transactions also suggests that this is not growth just fuelled by debt and easy credit – much of this increase will be a result of contactless payments being made purely due to ease. What’s more, contactless payments have the added value of fuelling other payment solutions such as Apple and Google pay and other wearable technology – which can’t be done as easily with Chip and Pin.

Finally, the success of contactless payments demonstrates that consumers are quick to adopt new payments solutions that focus heavily on improving the consumer experience. However, because consumer experience can cover many aspects including convenience, security, speed and ubiquity, it’s vital that providers put in place ways to improve the experience over current solutions. If future payment solutions do not address all of these areas – which are fast-becoming a customer expectation – then they are unlikely to be successful.”