Credit and debit card spending was up in 2016 with a total of ?647 billion spent by consumers in this way, compared to total card spending for the previous year at ?620 billion, according to the latest from the UK Cards Association.
Consumers made 14.8 billion credit and debit card transactions during 2016, meaning an average of 469 transactions per second, or 40.5 million per day.
The vast majority of spending was on debit cards, which were responsible for ?461 billion of the total spending.
Use of contactless cards surged in 2016. ?25 billion was spent via the new contactless technology, more than trebling the figure of ?7.75 billion spent the same way in 2015.
With contactless transactions being necessarily smaller in value, the number of transaction made in this way surged even further, reaching 2.9 billion throughout the year.
The increase in popularity of contactless payments was further shown, by the fact that one in seven payment card transactions were contactless in January 2016. By November of the same year however, this figure had risen to one in four of all payment card transactions.
Credit and debit card spending was unsurprisingly most popular in retail spending. Over three quarters of all retail spending (76.4 per cent) was on credit and debit cards, rising slightly to ?298 billion from the ?290 billion spend throughout 2015.
The highest spending sector was food and drink, responsible for ?114 billion throughout 2016, working out at an average of ?9.5 billion per month.
Chief Executive of The UK Cards Association, Graham Peacop, commented: ‘Cards are the preferred way to pay for millions of consumers and underpin the retail economy.
‘Contactless cards are increasingly becoming the payment method of choice for everyday, low-value purchases, with a quarter of card payments now contactless.’