Over the past five years the number of credit card payments made online has increased five-fold.
This is according to the Association for Payment Clearing Services (APACS), which also found that ten per cent of all credit card payments are now being completed over the internet. This compares with just two per cent in 1999.
Currently, books and CDs are the favourite online purchases, followed by travel, computer equipment, financial services and groceries.
Commenting on the findings APACS's director of corporate communications, Sandra Quinn, said: "It is no real surprise that the internet is being used by more of us more of the time to shop and bank. It is convenient, secure and ideally suits the time-poor society we live in."
In the UK the internet has become an essential part of many people's lives, with twenty two million internet users either purchasing or banking online - half of them doing both.
In 2003 almost 13 million customers depended on the internet to do their personal banking.
One of the most popular uses for internet banking is the payment of credit card bills. More than six million of all credit card holders viewed their statements online during the second half of 2003.
When shopping online, most people prefer to use their credit card than their debit card, perhaps because of the increased protection, believes APACS.
The research, for example, revealed that seventy-one per cent of those people asked about recent online purchases bought a travel service using their credit card, compared with 29 per cent using their debit card.DeHavilland Information Services plc