Decrease in December Debit Card Spending While Credit Card Usage Rises

Sam Welch, commercial director for banking at TransUnion in the UK, comments on the recent UK Finance Card Spending report: 

“The latest card spending statistics from UK Finance paint a picture of consumer resilience amidst ongoing economic pressures, as December 2023 saw a 1.4% decrease in debit card spending annually while transaction volumes increased, indicating a level of stability. However, the key takeaway lies in the rise of credit card usage, with transactions increasing by 3.8% year-on-year and a 3.7% rise in total credit card spending. This could suggest a shift towards credit-based purchases as consumers continue to navigate a period of high inflation, as we know from TransUnion’s recent Consumer Pulse research that 46% of UK adults still feel their household income isn’t keeping up with the rate of inflation. 

“It's crucial to emphasise responsible credit management in these circumstances. The data reveals that outstanding credit card balances have grown by 9.7% over the past year, with over half accruing interest. This underscores the importance of financial institutions providing consumers with the tools they need to make informed borrowing decisions. TransUnion remains committed to providing lenders with the information needed to create the most comprehensive financial picture possible – fostering responsible borrowing practices and consumer well-being.”