Britons Make the Big Switch as Debit Cards Beat Credit

Article excerpt

DEBIT cards are now more popular than credit cards, it was revealed yesterday.

New figures showed that use of debit cards such as Switch and Delta overtook credit cards for the first time last month.

Debit card spending in Britain totalled [pounds sterling]7.35billion in December, compared to [pounds sterling]7.25billion for credit cards.

The biggest use of debit cards was in High Street shops where customers handed them over to spend [pounds sterling]5.5billion compared to [pounds sterling]4.4billion on credit cards.

The Credit Card Research Group, which released the figures, said that for the first time that, at 42million, there are now a million more debit cards in circulation in Britain that credit cards.

Spending on debit cards has been rising fastest in the service sector which includes utilities, insurance, dry cleaning, repair shops, health and medical facilities.

But consumers still tend to get out their credit cards for bigger purchases such as furniture, DIY products and larger electrical appliances, as well as hotel bills and motoring expenses.

A spokesman for the CCRG said yesterday: 'The number of outlets accepting debit cards has grown markedly in the past few years. …