Debit card use increases in the U.K.

According to a new study, consumers in the United Kingdom are using credit cards less frequently, opting to make purchases with cash and debit cards.

The British Retail Consortium recently released a study based on 2009-2010 payment trends. The study found that credit card usage declined by 12.9 percent while debit card transactions rose by 15.8 percent, according to the BBC.

The study showed that the number of cash transactions decreased although the amount spent in cash transactions increased by 13 percent. Cash was used for more than half of all retail payments.

“Hard-pressed customers are switching to cash and debit cards for the reassurance that they can’t spend what they haven’t got,” BRC Director General Stephen Robertson said, according to the BBC.

Retailers’ investments in technology such as secure card readers, internet security and note checkers at tills appear to be paying off as there was a 37 percent drop in fraud losses, the BBC reports.

Credit cards are used in only 10 percent of transactions but account for a staggering 44.5 percent of retailers’ costs the report revealed.

The British Retail Consortium represents 90 percent of the U.K.’s stores. Its annual Cost of Payment Collection survey includes results from approximately eight billion transactions, both in stores and online, accounting for 60 percent of the U.K.’s annual retail sales.

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