card guide
Debit Card … It Was Twenty Years Ago Today
It may be hard to believe, but 3 June 2018 marked the twentieth anniversary of the first ever debit card to be launched. It was the Barclays Connect Card. It wasn’t long before the cards became popular with users, and within just nine months, the bank had issued a million debit cards. In the UK in 2018 there are around 68 million debit cards in issue, on which are made 143 purchases a second, totalling 6.8 billion transactions every year.

shopping online with debit cardThere are now more debit cards in circulation than credit cards, and there are 85% of adults who own one, compared with 66% who own a credit or charge card.

Debit cards haven’t stood still in twenty years, and they are now moving into the world of prepaid debit cards and ‘wave and pay’ technology. The former enables customers to out a positive balance onto the card before they begin to use it when on holiday or a shopping spree, and the latter technology lets consumers make relatively small purchases by simply waving their cards in front of the terminal.

Barclays’ own figures suggest that an average customer will make 210 debit card transactions in a year, with a total spend of very nearly £10,000 on the card. Apparently the biggest spenders come from Battersea who spent an average of £15,840 on their cards in 2017. At the other end of the scale, the lowest spenders were from Small Heath in  Birmingham who use their cards only 92 times in a year average, with a spend of less than £5,000.

Other figures tell us that women use their cards a quarter as much again as men who actually spend 33% less than women, the figures being £52 for women and £39 for men, per transaction.

The frequency of debit card use is increasing year by year. They are most frequently used in supermarkets, where a third of all debit card transactions occur. This is followed by petrol stations where one in nine transactions take place, and departments stores take one in nineteen of all debit card transactions. Between these three destinations, they take more than half of all debit card transactions. There is a challenge, though, because the fastest growing purchase area is going to be, inevitably, from internet purchases.

Even popular games manufacturers have to move with the tide. Parkers, the makers of the Monopoly game board, have phased out cash in favour of debit cards in a new version. Instead of the garishly coloured bank notes, players will use Visa debit card instead to keep track of their money coming in and going out. There is an electronic machine which takes the card and the banker enters the details of the transaction.

Parker said it has to move with the times and its change to the game reflects the nature of society and technology advancements. Adults now use cash 70% less frequently than they did ten years ago. The electronic game is more expensive than the standard version, but if you’re short of cash…

Tom Smith
16th June 2018

Posted on: [ June 16, 2018 ]       Add to Del.icio.us   Digg it   Add to Blinklist   Add to FUrl   StumbleUpon