Credit Cards > Credit Card News > UK and international credit, debit card statistics

UK and international credit, debit card statistics

By Matt Schulz

Updated: 9 May 2013

 
Email Email story 


We've compiled credit card statistics for the United Kingdom and other nations around the world -- including statistics on credit card debt and more -- compiled by those of us at UK.CreditCards.com. We'll be updating the page frequently when we find new or updated credit card statistics. 

Credit card statistics roadmap

Below is a list of the various categories of statistics on this page. Click the link for more information.

UK

Worldwide

Regional

Individual nations


UNITED KINGDOM

Spending and debt Statistics

  • There was £55.3bn in outstanding credit card debt as of February 2013. (Source: Bank of England)
  • The average annual percentage rate (APR) on credit cards was 17.69% in March 2013 (Source: Bank of England).
  • Between June 2012 and December 2012, new spending on credit cards (£7.2bn) was less than the amount consumers repaid (£7.4bn). (Source: British Bankers' Association January 2013 High Street Banking report)
  • Outstanding overdraft debt was £43.2bn as of December 2012. (Source: British Bankers' Association January 2013 High Street Banking report)
  • The average balance transfer amount in 2012 was £2,100 -- a figure which has remained constant over the past few years. (British Bankers' Association November 2012 High Street Banking report)
  • Consumers made 2.39bn credit card transactions in 2012. (Source: UK Cards Association)
  • Consumers made 7.88bn debit card transactions in 2012. (Source: UK Cards Association)
  • Total value of all plastic (debit and credit) transactions was $501bn in 2012. (Source: UK Cards Association)

Cards in circulation

  • As of the end of 2011, there were 165.1m cards in issue: 54.5m credit cards, 6.4m charge cards, 86.3m debit cards and 17.9m ATM-only cards. (source: UK Cards Association)
  • 18.9 million debit, charge and credit card holders are considered "regular" card users, using their cards at least once per month to make purchases in 2011. These regular card users made an average of 104 payments during 2011, spending an average of £117 per week on their cards. (source: UK Cards Association)
  • Contactless cards were first issued in the UK in 2007. As of December 2012, 31m of these cards in issue and, and there are approximately 143,000 contactless terminals. That's a more than 50% increase from the end of 2011, when there were 19.6m contactless cards in issue and 73,000 contactless terminals. (source: UK Cards Association)

Debt and borrowing

  • The average household debt (including mortgages) in February 2013 was £54,017. (source: Credit Action)
  • Average consumer borrowing outside of mortgages (including credit cards, motor and retail finance deals, overdrafts and unsecured loans) per UK adult was £3,218 as of February 2013. (source: Credit Action)
  • There were 109,477 individual insolvencies in England and Wales in 2012, a decrease of 8.7% from 2011.This included 31,756 bankruptcies (down 24.2% on 2011), 46,694 individual voluntary arrangements (down 4.8% on 2011) and 31,027 debt relief orders (up 7% on 2011). (Source: Insolvency Service)

How use of credit cards has changed

  • Consumers' spending on debit cards almost doubled from 2005 to 2010. In 2010, debit cards were used three times more often than credit cards. (Source: UK Cards Association).
  • Before debit cards took the lead, the number of credit and charge cards in circulation peaked in 2005. At that time, more than two-thirds of adults had one. (Source: UK Cards Association)
  • In 2010, 62% of cardholders paid in full each month, compared to 55% in 2005, with the over-45 age group accounting for much of the change. (Source: UK Cards Association)

Financial fraud

  • Total fraud losses on UK cards was £341m in 2011, the lowest annual total since the year 2000. (Source: Financial Fraud Action UK)
  • Phone, Internet and mail order (card-not-present) fraud amounted to £220.9m in 2011. (Source: Financial fraud action UK)
  • Counterfeit card fraud amounted to £36.1m in losses in 2011, a 72% decrease since 2004. The decrease is likely is due to the fact that chip and PIN cards have made it harder for criminals to use fake cards in cash machines and shops in the UK. (Source: Financial fraud action UK)
  • Internet/e-commerce fraud rose by 3% between 2010 and 2011 to £139.6m. (Source: Financial fraud action UK)
  • The South East was the region with the greatest fraud losses in 2011, at £149.9m. (Source: Financial fraud action UK)
  • UK Cash machine fraud was £29.3m in 2011, down 12% from 2010. Much of cash machine fraud results from cardholders keeping their PINs written down in their purse or wallet, which is then stolen. (Source: Financial fraud action UK)
  • Between 2008 and 2011, the United States was the top country for fraud abroad, resulting in £16.3m in losses on UK-issued cards. (Source: Financial fraud action UK)

WORLDWIDE DATA


Outstanding national credit card balances, in billions.
(Note: All figures are in U.S. dollars.)
US - $775.0
UK - $87.5
Canada - $73.9
Australia - $40.4
(Source: USA Today, December 2009)

INDIVIDUAL NATION DATA


Australia

  • There were an estimated 36 million debit cards and 16 million credit cards in circulation in Australia in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)
  • Reserve Bank of Australia "figures show mortgage, credit card and personal loan debts now stand at $1.2 trillion, up 71 per cent from just five years ago and equating to $56,000 for every man, woman and child in the country." (Source: Sydney Morning Herald, December 2009)
  • Debit card ATM withdrawals per account dropped 6.3 per cent in 2009 to 2.39 a month last year. That's compared with 2.55 in the previous year and 2.62 in 2006. (Source: The Australian, January 2010)
  • Australia’s total rate of cheque and payment card fraud has risen to 9 cents for every $1,000 of payments, up from 7 cents. (Source: Australian Payments Clearing Association, December 2009)
  • Australians spent $19.189 billion on credit and charge cards in October 2009. (Source: Reserve Bank of Australia, December 2009)
  • The average credit card account balance was $3,141 in October 2009. (Source: Reserve Bank of Australia, December 2009)
  • Total credit and charge card balances outstanding stood at $45.153 billion in October 2009. (Source: Reserve Bank of Australia, December 2009)


Brazil

  • There were an estimated 233 million debit cards and 191 million credit cards in circulation in Brazil in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)
  • Between 2004 and 2007, the number of credit cards in Brazil more than doubled. (Source: CompaniesandMarkets.com, December 2008)


Canada

  • There were an estimated 37 million debit cards and 72 million credit cards in circulation in Canada in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)
  • Total outstanding credit-card debt hit $78 billion in September, up from $76 billion in September 2008, according to Equifax Canada. (Source: Toronto Star, December 2009)
  • Ninety-day credit card delinquencies jumped 53 per cent between September 2008 and September 2009, hitting $3.6 billion. Among major cities, Toronto has the nation's highest delinquency rate (2.14 per cent) in October. The average national rate is 1.67 per cent. (Source: Toronto Star, December 2009)
  • Canadians spent almost $267 billion on their cards in 2008. (Source: Toronto Star, December 2009)


China

  • There were an estimated 1.8 billion debit cards and 199 million credit cards in circulation in China in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)
  • In China, growth in the number of credit cards averaged just over 23% from 2004 to 2007, and then surged to nearly 93% in the first half of 2008. (Source: CompaniesandMarkets.com, December 2008)


France

  • There were an estimated 78 million debit cards and 34 million credit cards in circulation in France in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Germany

  • There were an estimated 91 million debit cards and 4 million credit cards in circulation in Germany in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


India

  • There were an estimated 130 million debit cards and 24 million credit cards in circulation in India in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)
  • Between 2004 and 2007, outstanding credit card debt in India tripled. (Source: CompaniesandMarkets.com, December 2008)


Indonesia

  • There were an estimated 39 million debit cards and 10 million credit cards in circulation in Indonesia in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Israel

  • There were an estimated 160,000 debit cards and 6 million credit cards in circulation in Israel in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Japan

  • There were an estimated 427 million debit cards and 346 million credit cards in circulation in Japan in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Mexico

  • There were an estimated 12 million debit cards and 26 million credit cards in circulation in Mexico in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)
  • Between 2004 and 2007, the number of credit cards in Mexico more than doubled. (Source: CompaniesandMarkets.com, December 2008)

 
Poland

  • Between 2004 and 2007, the number of cards in circulation in Poland tripled. (Source: CompaniesandMarkets.com, December 2008)

 
The Philippines

  • There were an estimated 33 million debit cards and 8 million credit cards in circulation in The Philippines in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Russia

  • There were an estimated 119 million debit cards and 10 million credit cards in circulation in Russia in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Saudi Arabia

  • There were an estimated 22 million debit cards and 3 million credit cards in circulation in Saudi Arabia in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


South Korea

  • There were an estimated 66 million debit cards and 96 million credit cards in circulation in South Korea in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)
  • The nation's credit card spending saw double digit growth for the fifth straight year. The Credit Finance Association said card spending hit 332.7 trillion won in 2009, up nearly 11 percent from '08. (Source: Korea Times, January 2010)
  • Statistics showed that plastic is quickly replacing cash in everyday transactions. In private consumption, payment using cards took only 5.6 percent of total expenditure in 1990. This rose to 45.7 percent in 2002, and marked 50.1 percent in 2008." (Source: Korea Times, January 2010)


Spain

  • There were an estimated 31 million debit cards and 18 million credit cards in circulation in Spain in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Thailand

  • There were an estimated 29 million debit cards and 14 million credit cards in circulation in Thailand in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Turkey

  • There were an estimated 63 million debit cards and 45 million credit cards in circulation in Turkey in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


United States

  • There were an estimated 488 million debit cards and 686 million credit cards in circulation in the United States in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Venezuela

  • There were an estimated 12 million debit cards and 6 million credit cards in circulation in Venezuela in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)


Vietnam

  • There were an estimated 15 million debit cards and 2 million credit cards in circulation in Vietnam in 2009. (Source: Euromonitor International, January 2010)

Comments or Questions
Story Archive



Recent stories - Research, statistics:

Spending statisticsInfographic: What we buy, how we spend

The Payments Council took a look back on the past decade in a February 2013 report, which found that Brits are splashing out on fun -- and moving toward a cash-free lifestyle ...See Spending statistics

OptimismSigns of optimism break financial gloom

With Christmas debt looming and warnings of a triple-dip recession in the headlines, you might think consumers are feeling pessimistic about their finances. But recent research shows otherwise ...See Optimism

Windfall1 in 3 would use windfall for debt

What would you do with an extra £1m? Research has found that Brits have an interesting mix of priorities for an unexpected windfall, from paying off debt to splurging ...See Windfall