Association News

UKFinance: Card Expenditure Statistics

UK Card Expenditure Statistics: May 2017…


A third of card payments are now contactless, up to 33 per cent from 18 per cent in May 2016;


A total of £4.5 billion was spent via contactless in May 2017, compared to £3.9 billion in April 2017;


The number of card payments continued to grow to 1.4 billion, an increase of 12 per cent over the past year, likely because of the increased use of contactless;


Card spending grew at an annual rate of 7 per cent in May 2017, the highest rate in 15 months, up from 6.5 per cent in April 2017, possibly due to rising inflation;


The strongest monthly increase in spending was recorded at pest control merchants, followed by chemists. Travel related merchants such as foreign exchange bureaus and airport terminals also recorded an increase;


The number of card purchases continued to grow faster than spending. The number of card payments grew by 12 per cent in the year to May 2016, the highest rate since June 2008, while online purchases increased by 19 per cent and contactless payments by 148 per cent.


Richard Koch, Head of Cards at UK Finance, said: “With one in three card payments now contactless, it is clear consumers value the speed and convenience of this way to pay. Card payments continue to grow at a faster pace than spending generally, a trend we predict is going to continue.”

Retail sector spending increased by £36 million from April, to £26.2 billion in May 2017, while food and drink sector spending rose by £34 million to £10 billion.


There was strong growth in spending at merchants providing pest control services, followed by chemists. Travel-related merchants, such as foreign currency exchange and airport terminals, also recorded strong growth.


The debit and credit card share of total retail sales was 77 per cent in May.