UK card transactions on the rise

A total 1.6 billion transactions were made on debit cards in February in the UK, a rise of 9.2% from the same month a year earlier, new UK Finance data has revealed.

The trade association said the figure reflected a total spend of £52.9bn, which was 4.1% more than in February 2019.

On credit cards, there were 275 million transactions in February which reflected a rise of 7.3% from the same month a year ago, and the data showed this represented a total spend of £15.7bn – a 4.4% annual increase. The annual growth rate of outstanding balances on credit cards stood at 1.8% during the month, which UK Finance highlighted had continued the downward trend from its recent peak of 8.3% at the start of 2018.

The latest card spending data also revealed the total value of all contactless transactions in the UK was £6.7bn in February, which reflected an increase of 14.0% from £5.9bn in the same month in 2019.

PRIMIS Mortgage Network proposition director, Vikki Jefferies, suggested the figures looked “promising” at first glance, with the balances on credit cards maintaining a downward trend.

“However, as the societal and economic impacts of the coronavirus outbreak continue to develop, the future may look very different,” Jefferies added.

“As such, it’s important that consumers, particularly those hit hardest by the pandemic, are aware of the support and resources available to them to help them navigate this period.
 
“Seeking professional, specialist advice is paramount in the current climate. Since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, lenders and providers have been working hard to ensure that borrowers have access to the flexible solutions that they need, and advisers are best placed to guide borrowers through these options.

“This could be in the form of mortgage or protection payment holiday for borrowers whose finances have been impacted by the pandemic. For consumers coming to the end of their current term, a remortgage or product transfer could also enable them to get a better deal on their mortgage.”

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