The UK Card Payments Association has announced that payment card spending grew by 0.6 per cent in September to reach £54.7 billion, driven largely by a £302 million rise in debit card spending. Card spending increased by £4.4 billion in the three months to the end of September compared to the previous quarter, a 2.8% rise, with 103 million more purchases.
22% of card transactions were made using contactless cards in September, with internet purchases constituting a further 13 per cent of transactions. Annual growth in service sector card spending exceeded retail spending, up 5.1% and 2.8%t respectively. Educational establishments and employment agencies saw the strongest monthly growth in spending, rising 191 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, reflecting the start of the new academic year. Visitor destinations such as amusement parks, aquariums and tourist attractions saw the biggest declines in spending between August and September. The debit and credit card share of total retail sales was 77.1% in September.
Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said: “We’re making over three million more card transactions every day compared to September last year, with contactless and online payments playing a significant role. While the annual growth in card spending has slowed, the rate still far outstrips GDP growth as card payments become an increasingly important part of how the UK transacts.”