MSE News

Almost 80% of retail sales paid for by card

Shoppers paid for almost £300 billion of purchases on their credit and debit cards last year, according to data from the British Retail Consortium, while just £78 billion of purchases were paid for in cash.

In 2018, debit cards accounted for 56.8% of the total sales value, while credit and charge cards accounted for 21.5% and cash made up 20.4% of the total – meaning credit card spending overtook cash payments in terms of the value of sales made.

Cash was used to pay for £77.7 billion worth of goods in 2018, compared with £80.6 billion in 2017, when it accounted for 22% of sales value and credit and charge cards made up 20.8%.

But in terms of the volume of payments made, cash remained the second most popular payment method, with coins and notes still commonly used for smaller transactions.

The British Retail Consortium's (BRC) survey was completed by retailers who represent 34% of UK retail annual sales turnover, and includes online and high-street retailers. It is calling for a reduction in the charges that businesses pay to accept card payments.

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