Debit card payments surpass cash payments in the UK


The UK’s payment markets made a significant step forward during the course of last year. According to the latest industry reports, in the last quarter of 2017 debit card payments outnumbered cash which made them the most frequently used payment method in the UK for the first time.

What do the market analyses say?

Facts and figures

13.2 billion debit card transactions were made in 2017 as opposed to 13.1 billion cash payments

– The number of contactless payments doubled in 2017 totaling to 5.6 billion contactless transactions

63% of the people in the UK use contactless payments

The reason behind the results

Single word – Technology. The Fintech era has redefined how people perceive banking and payments as a whole by focusing on innovations, customer experience and security. You wonder why debit cards are so popular and why did the number of total contactless card transactions double in just a year? We have an answer for that – speed, convenience and security. Paying with a debit card means you don’t have to search for cash in your wallet, nor wait for change, and for lower value transactions you’re not even required to enter PIN. And paying contactless means you just tap and go. Quick and simple as that, without even handing your debit card to the retailer. All of that resulted in having nearly 119 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK by the end of 2017 with 78% of debit cards and 62% of credit cards having contactless functionality.

What does the future hold?

Industry forecasts predict cash to remain being the second most preferred payment method in the UK even in 2027, and from January 2020 every bank-issued payment terminal in the UK is to be capable of accepting contactless payments. Will there be more than that? With developments such as Open Banking, instant money transfers and next-gen mobile banking we surely have more to look forward to and more to expect. So, stay tuned with Satabank.

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