Shrugging off a slowdown in economic growth, UK payment card spending in March weighed in at £57.8 billion, up by £335 million on February, according to the UK Cards Association (UKCA). Contactless payments amounted to 32% of card purchases, an increase from 15% a year ago, with total spending in March at £4 billion.
Online amounted to £15.3 billion, which at 27% of purchases was a 5% increase on March 2016. Within the retail sector, card spending grew by £179 million in March, to £26.2 billion. The largest increases came from food and drink and mixed business. And there was considerable growth at garden centres (up 93%) and on gardening services (up 60%) coinciding with the first month of spring.
Richard Koch, Head of Policy at the UKCA, said: “Cards are the default way to pay for millions of consumers and this is reflected by the increase in card spending month-on-month. Even with a slowdown in economic growth, card spending has continued to remain robust, underlining the role cards play for consumers.”