Debit card usage statistics UK: 2024

How are Brits using their debit cards?

Debit cards are the bread and butter of banking, allowing you to spend the balance of your bank account without borrowing (unless you have an overdraft, of course). They are an extremely versatile and popular way of spending, so we decided to investigate how we Brits use debit cards.

Quick overview

  • As of October 2023, 102 million debit cards were in circulation in the UK, 94 million of which were contactless.
  • According to research, the average person has 1.95 debit cards.
  • Contactless payments account for 76% of all debit card transactions as of October 2023.
  • The average debit card spend is £33.30 as of March 2023.
  • An average of 65.3 million transactions were made daily in the UK in March 2023.
  • There were 23.5 billion transactions on debit cards in the UK in the year to March 2023.
  • UK debit card transactions equalled a total of £67.2 billion in October 2023.
  • Total debit card spending from March 2022 to March 2023 equals £807.3 billion.
  • Spending abroad on UK debit cards in August 2022 was 16.3% than in January 2023.

How many debit cards are there in the UK?

As of October 2023, 102 million debit cards were issued in the UK, and 94 million of these were contactless. This has increased slightly since March 2022, when there were around 101 million debit cards in circulation.

How many debit cards does the average person have?

According to external research, the average person has 1.95 debit cards. There is no limit on the number of debit cards you can have, but some people find 1 is sufficient, whereas others may have 2 or 3 that they use for slightly different purposes.

How many debit card transactions are made per day in the UK?

In March 2023, there were an average of 65.3 million transactions made daily in the UK. There were over 2 billion transactions on debit cards in the UK throughout the month, up by 6.5% compared to the 1.9 billion transactions made in March 2022.

Month Volume of purchases on debit cards in the UK (mns) Volume of purchases on debit cards outside the UK (mns)
March 2022 1900 119
April 2022 1841 121
May 2022 1991 124
June 2022 1894 121
July 2022 1973 128
Aug 2022 2008 133
Sep 2022 1887 118
Oct 2022 2069 120
Nov 2022 2038 116
Dec 2022 2100 124
Jan 2023 1842 115
Feb 2023 1800 109
March 2023 2024 122

What is the average debit card spend in the UK?

The average debit card spend per transaction for March 2023 is £33.30. In comparison, the average transaction value for March 2022 was £32.87, meaning there was only a 1.3% increase.

How does the value of debit card transactions vary?

The majority of debit card transactions are made in the UK, and the value of transactions over the past year peaked in March 2023, with £67.4 billion being spent.

The lowest amount spent on debit cards in the UK over the past year was in February 2023, with a total value of £57.7 billion spent. This means that, in just 1 month, there was a 16.8% increase in total debit card spend in the UK.

The total spending from March 2022 to March 2023 equals £807.3 billion, which means that the average monthly spending from March 2022 to March 2023 is £62.1 billion.

As expected, the value of purchases made on UK debit cards outside the UK is significantly less than those made within the UK. Take the fact that only a little over £3.3 billion was spent out of the UK in March 2023 – this is less than 5% of the total value being spent in the UK.

The value of purchases made outside the UK varies seasonally due to people travelling abroad more in the summer months. In the colder months, like January 2023, there was a value of only just £3 billion spent. On the other hand, August 2022 had the highest spending, with a value of £3.8 billion, which is 16.3% higher than the amount spent in January.

Month Value of purchases on debit cards in the UK (mns) Value of purchases on debit cards outside the UK (mns)
March 2022 62457 3285
April 2022 61284 3387
May 2022 62485 3516
June 2022 58787 3429
July 2022 61338 3587
Aug 2022 61618 3770
Sep 2022 58755 3327
Oct 2022 63794 3535
Nov 2022 63828 3264
Dec 2022 65938 3394
Jan 2023 61988 3155
Feb 2023 57670 2960
March 2023 67405 3257

Click here for more research. For all media enquiries, please contact:

Matt Mckenna
Head of UK Communications
T: +44 20 8191 8806
matt.mckenna@finder.com@MichHutchison/in/matthewmckenna2

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