Debit Cards use on the rise

Latest figures have revealed that spending on debit cards has risen above spending by cash for the first time.

Information from the Association of Payment Clearing Services (Apacs) shows that retail spending in the UK last year using debit cards increased by 9% to £89bn. During the same period cash spending fell by 4% to £81bn. Credit card spending was unchanged at £61bn. The figures also show that the use of cheques is continuing to decrease as only £9bn was spent using cheques.

Sandra Quinn of Apacs believes that many people and shops are adapting to paying with plastic rather than cash, even for smaller items that may have traditionally been cash purchases. "At the end of 2004, we saw total UK spending on plastic overtake cash for the first time, signalling a real sea change in our payment habits. This change was mainly driven by debit card use. The 2005 figures show that this trend is continuing with debit card spending in retail outlets crashing through the cash barrier for the first time ever,"

Debit cards were introduced 20 years ago and now account for 37% of retail transactions.

April 2006

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