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Spending on plastic still popular with consumers

A new report, produced by Visa Europe, has underlined the increasing preference of UK consumers to buy goods using plastic.

The firm revealed that spending with UK Visa credit, debit, commercial and prepaid cards in 2013 rose by 9.2 per cent to £445 billion.

More specifically, the report observed that spending using Visa debit increased by 9.3 per cent on the previous year, while debit payments represented more than 80 per cent of Visa Europe’s business in the UK.

What’s more, the firm boasts that more than £1 in every £3 spent in the UK is now paid for using Visa, which goes to emphasise its increasing importance to the retail industry.

Discussing his vision for the company in the coming years, chief executive officer Nicolas Huss said: “I have joined a very successful business. We have huge scale – as many Visa cards as people in Europe (500 million) and €1 in every €6.50 spent in Europe is now spent on a Visa card.

“This is an excellent platform on which to build and I have four main priorities for the future. We will scale-up our next generation payment solutions to move in pace with the rapid adoption of new technologies and, more particularly, the growth of mobile and digital commerce.”

Added to this, the firm revealed that contactless payment technology has passed the tipping point in many European markets, meaning that it is growing at an impressive pace across the continent.

Last year, a report by Juniper Research found that 249 million cards will be used for contactless payments in 2014, with the firm observing that this trend is being given by the global migration to standards-based chip & pin and increasing contactless infrastructure at the point of sale.

The study said that growth in contactless payments will stem from early adopter markets, such as Australia, Canada and the UK.