Debit cards eclipse credit spending says Apacs

Credit card spending continued to be displaced by purchases on debit cards over the Christmas period, payment association Apacs has revealed.

With the UK facing unprecedented levels of personal debt, many have stopped to compare credit cards with debit cards and decided against shouldering any more debt.

While credit card spending rose marginally, by 1.9 per cent, debit cards continued to grow in popularity and now account for 67 per cent of all purchases, said Apacs.

Cards have also continued to undercut the use of cash, with the number of plastic transactions growing to 630.5 million in December, up 7.9 per cent on the year before.

Chip and pin payments have had no discernible effect on peoples’ spending, said Apacs.

Overall spending also increased to record levels, reaching £28.5 billion over the holiday season, 8.9 per cent up on the same month in 2004.

“We spent a record amount this December on our plastic cards,” said Sandra Quinn, of Apacs.

“And we are seeing an ongoing trend of paying by debit rather than credit cards – perhaps reflecting that we’ve become a nation who wants to keep a tighter rein on our finances.

“This said, the fact remains that credit card spending continues to rise and so do repayments. This can only be because we like credit cards, and enjoy the flexibility and benefits they provide,” she added.

The Christmas season has taken its toll on our spending habits however, with high street sales in January seeing the largest one-month fall since 1945.

© Adfero Ltd

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