Debit card transactions show 9.3% jump

There were 1.6 billion transactions on debit cards in October 2019, a rise of 9.3% from the same month a year earlier, according to the latest data released by UK Finance.

The figure reflected a total spend of £51.0bn, 2.0% more than the amount in October 2018.

The latest Card Spending Update from UK Finance revealed there were also 291 million transactions on credit cards in October 2019 – 0.7% fewer than in October 2018 – which reflected a total spend of £16.6bn, 2.7% less than in the same period a year earlier.

The data also showed the annual growth rate of outstanding balances on credit cards stood at 3.3% in October 2019, which continued the downward trend from its recent peak of 8.3% at the start of 2018.

Commenting on the latest data, CEO at equity release lender more2life, Dave Harris, said: “Although the annual growth rate of credit card debt is slowing down, this form of unsecured borrowing is still seen by many consumers as a viable solution to help them fund their everyday needs.

“After the indulgences in the run up to the festive season, it’s likely even more people will be checking their bank statements nervously. However, for many people – especially those in and approaching retirement – borrowing is not for luxuries but to cover unexpected expenses and simply to keep on top of household bills.

“For retirees, who are typically on small and fixed incomes, meeting the cost of borrowing on a credit card can be crippling.”

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