UK cardholders carried out 2.19 billion debit card transactions in August, 2.3% more than in August 2022. Total debit card spend of £66bn was 0.9% higher than August 2022. There were 377.9 million credit card transactions in August, 0.1% fewer than in August 2022. But total spend of £20.6bn was 2% higher than August 2022. Outstanding balances on credit card accounts have grown by 8.5% over the twelve months to August. Some 50.1% of outstanding balances incurred interest compared to 51.2% twelve months ago.

Contactless growth

Contactless payments accounted for 64% of all credit card and 76% of all debit card transactions. There were 1.6 billion contactless card transactions in August, 4.8% more than the 1.5 billion in August 2022. The total value of contactless transactions was £24.6bn in August, up 7.7% y-o-y. The number of contactless credit card transactions was 7.5% higher than August 2022. The number of contactless debit card transactions was 4.4% higher than August 2022.

James Hickman, CCO of Ecospend, said: “Data released by UK Finance showed that total UK card spending increased 1.9% between August 2022 and August 2023, as consumers and businesses continue to trade cash for card spending. The natural next step in this evolution is Open Banking payments, the use of which grew by 102.4% between July 2022 and July 2023.  Open Banking payments have gradually increased since PSD2 came into force in 2016. However, businesses are now discovering the significant benefits of Open Banking payments on a much broader scale, driving the explosive growth we are seeing today.

Open banking can not only streamline the payment process from the customer’s point of view, enhancing conversion rates and customer retention considerably, but it also lowers costs for merchants through increased efficiency. While card spending is still on the rise, open banking will undoubtedly start to take up an ever-greater share of the payments market, a trend that will be interesting to see reflected in card spending numbers over time.”

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