Key Facts and Figures - Payments Market*
- Of the 4.5 million businesses in the UK, 950,000 of them are authorised merchants with 1.2 million physical terminals in operation.
- 43 million UK adults hold a debit card and 30m a credit card.
- At the end of 2011 there were 60.9 million credit cards in the UK and 86.3 million debit cards
- The average amount of cards that a cardholder has is 1.8 for debit and 1.9 for credit.
- The amount of personal spending on debit cards overtook the amount of personal spending in cash during 2010.
- 19.8 million cardholders used their cards regularly, with an average spend of £117 per week.
- Each month there are on average more than 850 million purchases on credit and debit cards totalling upwards of £40 billion up from c.770 million transactions and a spend of £39 billion a year ago.
- Card fraud is on the decrease with the total UK fraud down from £535.2m in 2007 to £341.0m in 2011.
- The number of payments by cheque has decreased by 42% in the past 5 years with a further decline of 40% expected over the next 5 years. The majority of these payments have switched to card.
Key Facts and Figures - UK Businesses*
- There are 4.5 million private sector businesses in the UK.
- These businesses have a combined annual turnover of £3,100 billion (excludes financial and insurance activities and employment activities where data is not available on a comparable basis).
- Small and medium sized businesses (less than 250 employees) accounted for 99.9% of all enterprises and 48.8% of private sector turnover.
- Of these 99.2% were small (up to 49 employees), 0.7% were medium-sized (50 - 249 employees).
- At the start of 2011, 62.4% of private sector businesses were sole proprietorships, 27.7% were companies and 9.8% were partnerships.
* Data published by The UK Card Association and Department for Business Innovation and Skills.
Number of private sector businesses in the UK*
- The number of UK private sector businesses has grown by 1 million over the last 11 years.
- With the current percentage of overall UK businesses taking merchant accounts at 21% (4.5 million businesses vs. 950,000 merchant accounts) if the net growth of new businesses continues at the current rate (which given the Government and Social focus on entrepreneurism there is a strong possibility this may increase) there will be roughly in the region of 19,000 new businesses looking for merchant facilities each year.
- There will also be considerable merchant growth within the current 4.5 million existing businesses as solutions become more convenient, flexible and as cheques continue to be phased out.
* Department for Business Innovation and Skills - Business Population Estimates 2011
Percentage of retail sales made on plastic cards (including fuel, 3 month rolling average)*
Retail sales (high street spending) year on year monthly average*
Average monthly expenditure (12 month moving average)*
Number of cards in issue at the end of 2011*
* Data sampled from various reports published by the UK Cards Association.
- The percentage of retail sales made on debit cards has now exceeded 50% and cards are now the favoured payment mechanism over cash. There is nothing to suggest this trend will do anything but increase, especially with the continued increase in those businesses that reject cheques as an acceptable payment method.
- The continued increase in the volume of payments is particularly encouraging given the relatively modest movement in the total number of cards in issue over the past 7 years (it is fair to say the reduction in the number of credit cards is a sign of both banks and individuals dealing with the impact of the recession).