UK customers spend £16 billion online

09 September 2005
A new report into buying behaviour has revealed that more than 22 million adults made purchases online last year using credit cards, accounting for 262 million transactions totalling £16 billion.

The report by the Association of Payment Clearing Services (APACS) predicted that online payments could rise to 1.2 billion, totalling £60 billion, in the next decade.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS said: "Shopping online has of course grown alongside plastic card use - one can’t happen without the other. However, credit cards are far more popular for online payment than debit cards; a direct reversal of card use in other retail environments."

The report also revealed that spending on plastic cards, at £273 billion, outstripped cash spending (of £272 billion) for the first time ever in 2004.

Frances Walker, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, warned that consumers are still spending too much on their cards.

She said: "You have to put these figures into context. People are still spending billions of pounds on credit and they are still getting deeper into debt. We are receiving 50 per cent more calls this year than we were in 2004."

However, it has also been reported that consumers in the south-east, England's most affluent region, spent £33 billion on credit cards last year, down from £37 billion in 2003.

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