UK Finance has released the latest card expenditure statistics for July, the highlights include:

  • The number of card payments increased to 1.39 billion in July, largely because of the migration of cash payments to card and the increased use of contactless. Total spending was £57.8 billion, up from £54.2 billion in July 2016.
  • Contactless payments accounted for 36 per cent of total purchases, compared to 19 per cent in July 2016.
  • Online spending grew by £170 million to £15.7 billion, accounting for 27 per cent of total card spending, up from 23 per cent in July 2016.

Richard Koch, Head of Cards at UK Finance, said “Coinciding with the ‘days-out’ holiday season, leisure and entertainment activities accounted for significant spend on cards during July. Contactless cards were used for one in three purchases as consumers continue to make lower-value transactions using their cards, rather than cash.”

Total Spending

£ billions

Annual growth rates for spending Number of purchases


July 2017 July 2016 July 2017 July 2016 July 2017 July 2016
All payment cards 57.8 54.2 7.4% 4.6% 1,393 1,244
  Of which online 15.7 12.5 23.6% 6.6% 183 152
Debit cards 41.0 38.5 7.4% 5.3% 1,088 962
Credit cards 16.7 15.7 7.3% 3.0% 305 283


  • The largest monthly growth in spending was in the cinema, theatre and dance category. Amusement parks, tourist attractions and aquariums also recorded strong growth in July, coinciding with the holiday season.
  • Card spending on food and drink (supermarkets, off-licences and other food shops) accounted for 75.9 per cent of spending, up from 73.8 per cent in 2016. Cards were used for almost 89 per cent of automotive fuel purchases, compared to 86.4 per cent in 2016.