News & Views - Savantor
You are here:

Payment trends

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

UK Finance has just issued its detailed analysis of the use of all types of payments in the UK during 2019.

According to the report, during 2019 there were 40 billion payments made in the UK in 2019, for the first time over half of which (51%) were made using cards. Key drivers of this growth continued to be online and contactless payments, with 80% of UK adults using contactless payments in 2019.

Debit cards accounted for 42% of all payments in the UK and remained the most frequently used payment method, accounting for four in ten payments. In 2019 debit card payment volumes increased by 12% reaching 17 billion. The continued increase in debit card use is seen as driven by a number of factors including the continued growth in popularity of contactless payments and the increased speed of migration of payments away from cash.

Credit cards saw an increase of 7% over the previous year, with 3.5 billion payments being made using this method.

During 2019 the number of contactless payments made in the UK increased by 16% to 8.6 billion payments. This was driven by the continued roll-out of contactless cards, especially credit cards in the last 12 months; the continued roll-out of card acceptance devices; and consumers becoming increasingly comfortable and familiar with making contactless payments.

By the end of 2019 there were 132 million contactless cards in circulation, with 85% of debit cards and 74% of credit cards in the UK having contactless functionality.

The percentage of all payments made using contactless cards was 21%, up from 15% in 2017 and a mere 3% in 2015.

As well as using contactless cards other devices such as mobile phones and watches were used at point of sale and online. Nearly ten million people, or 18% of the adult population, registered for mobile payments in 2019 with 79% of these registered users undertaking a payment.

Cash payments continued to decline during 2019, resulting mainly from the increased use of debit cards and online payments. However, cash was still the second most frequently used payment method in the UK in 2019, being used for just under a quarter of the total number of payments made.

The percentage of all payments made using cash was 23%, down from 48% in 2014 and 58% in 2009.

However, a recent survey by Nationwide Building Society indicates that during the pandemic consumers have gone an average of 44 days without using cash in favour of contactless payments. With such a drastic decrease in ATM usage, politicians have written to the Chancellor to bring forward legislation urgently to protect the UK's cash infrastructure by reviving free-to-use cash machines for local economies and communities and reversing cuts to interchange fees. There are major concerns that the vulnerable, the elderly and those living in rural communities could struggle with the move away from cash.

Going forward it will be interesting to see how the current pandemic has affected payment trends and the payment behaviour of consumers. It seems likely that the impact of the past three months has been to accelerate existing trends in payments – the increased use of contactless, the increase in online shopping and the decrease in cash usage. Whether these trends continue or revert to previous levels and any resulting impact remains to be seen.

Savantor Services

Savantor Services

Savantor services are tailored to Client needs based on our core service areas

Specialist Resourcing Payments Strategy Platform Transition Operational Efficiency
Savantor Services

Job Opportunities

Consulting and contracting roles in the payments, mobile and banking arena within the UK and across Europe

View more
Savantor Services

Savantor Views

Find out more from our Savantor brochures, MarketEye back copies and Industry opinion

Collateral Market Eye News & Views Sign Up to receive MarketEye

Client Quotes

Credit Risk Review for New Product Launch

"We needed expert help at short notice and Savantor were very impressive in their response and knowledge. The results were very clear and useful, enabling us to quickly make good progress on the next steps."

Sami Karhunen, Head of Business Intelligence and SME Sales - Point Transaction Systems Oy - Finland

Market Insights

"Savantor did a good job in helping us understand the dynamics of a key growth area for Trionis. Savantor's ability to listen and their degree of commitment have always impressed me. They have been of great help in providing us important market insights and I would not hesitate to work with them again in future."

Ernst Verbeek, Managing Director - Trionis - Belgium

Interchange Review

"Savantor did a superb job in confirming what we believed was an area of weakness. The detail we now have will enable us to agree internally what we need to do to improve structure, control and income. Nationwide management were very impressed with the quality of the Savantor team."

Adam Slater, Senior Manager - Banking - Nationwide Building Society - UK

Complex Cards Business Transformation

"This was a major business transformation that required us to build an excellent team made up of internal bank specialists, supported by external card business, technical and operations expertise. Savantor provided specialists from the local market and with international experience to fill a variety of important roles. The Savantor resourcing team are professional, reliable and good people to work with."

Ricardo Gomez, Director - Operations & Technology - WiZink Bank - Spain

Acquiring market insight and strategy review

"Savantor brought an independent perspective and valuable insight that enabled Rabobank to ratify options for delivery and future growth and make informed business decisions in support of our target business model. Having used Savantor on a number of strategic projects, we have no hesitation in recommending their services to others."

Evert R Fekkes, SVP Payment & Savings Services - Rabobank - Nederland

New Payments Initiative

"In moving our new initiative into reality, we required specialist payments knowledge and forward thinking in the retail sector. Savantor supplied this and provided very effective guidance throughout. We enjoyed working with them."

Sophie High, Head of Innovation Delivery - Cancer Research UK

Card Processing Migration

"Disciplined methodology and effective teamwork, guided by Savantor's migration expertise and operational knowledge, were the hallmarks that led to the resounding success of this project, enabling us to maintain and develop our business capability."

Robert Lambert, Head of Cards Strategy - Permanent tsb bank - Ireland

Payments Workshop Material

"Savantor helped ACI build a payments onboarding workshop for new technical staff in ACI EMEA. Their extensive experience took our outline and built a great starting presentation of industry facts that we have now customised further into a half day session that is used for all new joiners. Our Americas and APAC regions have also taken the material and customised it for their regions. A great job by Savantor has meant new joiners to ACI hit the ground running."

Richard Sanders, Principal Solution Consultant - ACI - Worldwide EMEA

Clients - Request Support

Send us a support request and one of our specialists will be in contact to assist you.

Consultants – Upload your CV

Register your CV with us and gain access to a range of job opportunities through our online job search portal.