Debit cards are the bread and butter of banking, allowing you to spend the balance of your current 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 are using our debit cards.
In 2017, debit cards overtook cash in the UK as the most common method of payment.
As of September 2019, 97 million debit cards were in circulation in the UK, 84 million of which were contactless.
1.6 billion transactions were carried out on debit cards by UK cardholders in September 2019. This was 10.4% more than in September 2018.
The total value of transactions made with debit cards in September 2019 was £51.1 billion. This was 2.0% more than in September 2018.
98% of the population holds a debit card.
By 2024, it’s expected that debit cards will be responsible for half of all payments made in the UK.
Purchases on debit cards
Between September 2019 and September 2018, the number of purchases on debit cards has increased by 10.4%. This is equivalent to 166.4 million more purchases made in September 2019 (1.6 billion) than in September 2018 (1.43 billion).
Purchases on debit cardsby UK card holders (billions)
Since September 2018, the value of purchases made on debit cards has increased by £1.02 billion (2.0%). In September 2019, the total value of purchases made on debit cards by UK cardholders was £51.1 billion. Despite increasing over summer and autumn, interestingly during the winter months, the value of purchases took a dip. Over the last year, spending on debit cards reached its lowest point in January 2019 (£49.73 billion).
Over two thirds (69%) of Brits used contactless technology while spending with their card in 2018. In the UK there are 97 million debit cards in circulation and 84 million of these (86.6%) are contactless. By July 2019 there were 131 million contactless cards in total in circulation in the UK, of which 64.12% were debit cards.
If you are under 18 years old you will need help from a parent or a legal guardian to get your hands on a debit card. If you’re looking to monitor your child’s (6-18 year’s old) spending GoHenry could be a great option. GoHenry specialises in debit cards for under 18s where the guardian can use an application to monitor the child’s or teen’s spending. But if you are looking for an average current account fear not, many banks offer children’s accounts.
Name of account
Planning to launch accounts for children
No children’s account available
Under 19s account
Common frauds and how to prevent them
Cases of fraud are becoming more and more common. In 2018, £641.4 billion was lost thanks to fraud in the UK, a 16% increase from the year before. Luckily, £1.66 billion worth of fraudulent transactions were prevented. Some fraudulent scams are very well designed and seem completely legitimate so you can never be too careful. To prevent becoming a victim of fraud, never share your bank details on social media, text messages, emails or over the phone. If you suspect that your bank details might have ended up in the wrong hands, call your bank immediately so they can act quickly and do something about it.
Here are the most common frauds and how to avoid them.
Is when fraudsters make a copy of someone’s card. To prevent having your card skimmed, make sure all card machines that you use are legitimate. If there’s anything on the screen that doesn’t look right, or if where you insert your card looks loose or in any way tampered with, don’t put your card in. Whilst using your card cover the numbers when entering your pin code to stop lurkers from seeing.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to prevent having your card stolen as pickpockets can be both fast and almost invisible. If someone does steal your card cancel it immediately by calling your bank, it might be a good idea to add the bank’s number in your mobile phone just in case. Alternatively some banks will allow you to cancel your card on their online platform or through their app.
This is when you get an email, text message or a call from fraudsters pretending to be well-known companies requesting your bank details. Often they will give a reason such as needing to update your information or checking the information they “already have” is correct. For example, an email may say that they need you to update your payment details, the information you give them will then be used for unauthorized purchases. If you think you have received a dodgy phone call compare the number you received a call from to the company’s phone number online, you can also call them to ask if they actually tried to contact you. If you have been contacted by email compare the content and email address to emails that you have received from the company before. Even if the email seems legit whenever you are submitting your bank details check that the connection is secure. To check this, look at the top left corner of the website’s URL . If there’s a padlock symbol, you can click on the padlock to see more information. To be absolutely sure you’re not being phished contact the company yourself.
Nationwide thinks it's time to take your membership to the next level – offering 0% interest (for a promotional period) on existing card debt that you transfer across from other card issuers. Read more…
Charlie Barton is a publisher at Finder. He specialises in banking and investments products, including banking apps, current accounts, share-dealing platforms and stocks and shares ISAs. Charlie has a first-class degree from the London School of Economics, and in his spare time enjoys long walks on the beach.
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