UK Cards And Payments Industry Trends: Ken Research


The report titled “Payments in the UK 2017: What Consumers Want”, provides a comprehensive analysis of payment methods and option in UK, various payment cards, technological advancements in banking sector, evolution in digital payments, leading companies in payment methods, and future of payments industry in UK.

Payment Methods and Cards Overview: It was observed that there are around 164 million payment cards in use in the UK. The usage of debit cards in UK has increased drastically over the recent years. The number consumers possessing debit cards is considerably growing, but the credit card sector has become static. Full-time employees and also population under higher income bracket are more likely to hold both debit and credit cards compared to other groups. With increasing population the use of payment cards will increase in UK. Almost all the cardholders are using their payment cards more frequently across different channels like in-store or remotely, and in various forms such as wearables, mobile, in-app etc. Contactless cards are now an essential established way of making payments and alternative for banking transactions. Debit cards in UK, account for the majority of transactions compared to credit cards and charge cards. The majority of payments cards are used at in-store, however, with the introduction of both e-commerce and m-commerce UK consumers are shopping online. The number of retailers accepting cards in UK continued to increase along with the number of outlets. It was observed that there is an increase in point-of-sale (POS) terminals in the country.

Technological Advancements: UK consumers are embracing the speed and convenience of the advanced technology in the contactless payments. The number of contactless debit cards increased along with contactless credit and charge cards. It was observed that there is a huge growth in the contactless payments. UK’s e-commerce market is well developed and mature. It is growing continuously almost twice as fast as the total card expenditure. The growing awareness in consumers on online spending has encouraged the use of payment cards. Credit cards in UK are an important, safe and convenient tool for credit borrowing. As the country’s economy improves, the credit card lending will increase drastically. Credit card borrowings also account for a relatively small part of household disposable incomes. Credit borrowing was witnessed in areas of personal loans and car finance and more than 80% of the population in UK opt for it.

Leading Players: The rapid evolution in digital payments in the card industry has provided new ways to facilitate payments by allowing the retailers to offer customers a convenient and secure shopping experience across various channels. Major UK retailers are planning their strategies to serve customers through online and mobile channels with an increasing in the volume of online spending and the growth of in-app purchasing. The leading companies in UK payment methods are Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Santander, Tesco Bank, Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club.

Way Forward in Consumer Payment Methods in UK: The consumer payments market in the UK includes payment cards, online payments, P2P payments, and newer payment technologies such as mobile wallets and contactless. The payments market is highly matured and over-served by its financial institutions in the UK. It was observed that there were more debit cards issued to individuals in the year 2017. The access to formal financial services in the UK is easy and free and the population in UK is highly comfortable with credit and debit cards both in-store and online. Use of contactless card numbers has witnessed a rapid strong growth in the past few years because the users feel the cards are helpful. The mobile proximity payments market in UK is still underdeveloped, and UK consumers are using cash at the POS. The UK payments industry has developed such that it supports bank transfers through the development of Paytm, which verifies the mobile numbers to bank details of user at registration and then enabling users to send money using only the recipient’s mobile number. UK consumers are attracted to the regulatory and legislative developments which influence the development of open banking, confirmation of payee and the development of new standards within the banking sector.

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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications



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