UK consumers pay by debit card 166 times a year

05 June 2007
Debit cards could increasingly displace credit cards as a payment type, figures from payments association Apacs have suggested, as the 20th anniversary of the debit card sees the number of debit card holders in the UK hit 41 million.

The first debit card was introduced as recently as 1987, by Barclays bank, yet British customers used each of their cards 166 times on average during 2006.

"Before 1987, most of us were totally reliant on cash or cheques," recalled Apacs' head of PR Jemma Smith.

The average Briton took out £3,800 in cash using their card and paid £4,800 directly to companies using their debit card with a pin code or signature last year.

And a recent study from Defaqto revealed that debit cards may be becoming more popular as growing numbers of customers switch away from credit cards with the growth of annual credit card fees.

This trend could be reinforced by news from that credit card providers now charge an average APR on ATM withdrawals made without clearing the balance on a card of 23.48 per cent, two per cent more than at the end of 2006.

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