Plastic eclipses paper cash as card payments soar to £600bn

Adam Hignett
Over £19,000 was spent on card every second last year (Source: Getty)
Three quarters of all retail spending is now conducted by card, with transaction volumes topping £600bn during 2014 according to new research by The UK Cards Association released today.

Data compiled by the industry body revealed over £19,000 was spent on card every second last year, partially driven by the increased use of contactless payments which expanded by 331 per cent. The figures also showed total retail card payments increased by 12 per cent last year.

But while the 75 per cent increase represents the total amount of retail spending by value now conducted by card, data released by the Payments Council revealed cash was also losing the battle for the total number of individual transactions made.

In the report, released by the council last month, data showed electronic forms of payment now accounted for 52 per cent of all transactions conducted.

The trend towards increasing card usage was welcomed by the Federation of Small Businesses who said retailers could potentially benefit from more efficiency as cash will no longer need to be counted or deposited.

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