Decade of the debit card?

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

British shoppers are increasingly turning towards debit cards for purchases instead of credit cards.

That's according to trade body the Payments Council, which has reported that the proportion of all unsecured consumer borrowing taken out on credit cards has declined since 2005 – although overall levels of spending on debit cards and credit cards has risen sharply in that period.

The Payments Council has welcomed this trend, putting the growing popularity of debit card transactions down to the security and convenience of chip and PIN technology, which only a few years ago was being viewed as a potential crisis for the sector.

Indeed, Payments Council head of policy and markets Mike Bowman went so far as to declare the last ten years "the decade of the debit card".

He also pointed out that more and more people are now happy to pay for small items with debit cards instead of cash – something anyone who has recently queued up in a coffee shop can confirm.


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