New figures from UK Finance show that consumers spent almost £16.9 billion on credit cards in May, a year-on-year increase of 2.3%.

The annual growth rate of outstanding balances on credit cards stood at 4.1 per cent in May 2019, continuing the downward trend from its recent peak of 8.3 per cent at the start of 2018.

There were 1.6 billion debit and credit card transactions in the UK in May 2019, 4.1 per cent more than a year ago. This reflected a total spend of £58.8 billion, 2.4 per cent less than in the same period in 2018. This data includes transactions on both UK-issued cards and cards issued overseas. 33 per cent of credit card transactions and 49 per cent of debit card transactions in the UK were made using contactless cards.

There were 1.5 billion transactions on UK cardholders’ debit cards in May 2019, 9.1 per cent more than in May 2018. This reflected a total spend of £50.5 billion, 1.5 per cent more than in the same period in 2018.

In total there were 723 million contactless card transactions in May 2019, a 18.2 per cent increase from 612 million in the same month a year earlier. This data includes transactions on both UK-issued cards and cards issued overseas.
The total value of contactless transactions was £6.7 billion in May 2019, a 17.2 per cent increase from £5.9 billion in the same month in 2018.

Bank of England analysis also showed that the average family owes £3,900 on cards – with the total up by two-fifths since 2009.