Surge in online card payments sees UK dominate global spending

New data suggests consumer online shopping has risen by more than a quarter in two years, putting the UK at the top of global online spending.

According to a report by the UK Cards Association, UK online card spending totalled £154 billion in 2016 – up from £120 billion in 2014.

Furthermore, in 2015 the average UK household spent the equivalent of $5,900 (£4,611) online, which was more than any other country, including Norway ($5,400), the US ($4,500) and Australia ($4,000).

Online spending on entertainment, such as digital music, cinema and concert tickets, made up a significant proportion of online purchases, accounting for one in four online transactions, although the monetary value of these purchases was relatively low at just 7%.

Of the total amount monetary value spent online, the financial services industry enjoys the biggest share at 27%. This is thought to reflect the increasing popularity of renewing contracts such as insurance cover online.

Commenting on the findings, Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said: ‘The internet enables millions of people to access services around the clock from wherever they are based. Payment cards have driven this revolution, providing an easy and secure way to shop online, whether it is to buy an app for your phone or a sofa for your living room.

‘Since the early days of internet shopping there has been a host of innovations, from digital wallets to one click purchases, which bring enhanced security, choice and convenience for customers and which will lead to continued growth in the sector,’ he added.

‘The additional protection provided when using a card also gives consumers extra peace of mind when they are shopping online’.

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