Brits' debit card spending abroad hit by weak pound

Report shows overseas spending was down by 13 per cent in August

With sterling’s purchasing power weakening considerably since the Brexit vote, the British tourists’ debit card spending abroad has also been sharply affected since last year.

A report from UK Finance shows that overseas spending on UK debit cards was down by 13 per cent in August, compared with the same month in 2016. A total of £3.16bn was spent overseas in August, as compared to £3.61bn of August 2016.

“This decrease, in part, highlights the growing consumer preference to holiday in the UK as sterling’s purchasing power abroad has weakened considerably since the Brexit vote,” the trade body stated in the report.

In the same period, domestic spending on UK debit cards amounted to £43.4bn after increasing by 0.8 per cent in July. This has been the strongest growth rate for 11 months, which the trade body says is partly due to the rising rate of inflation.

The average amount spent on each use of a debit card, however, continued to fall due to the rising popularity of contactless payments. According to the report, the number of contactless debit cards in issue has grown to 75.9m. With their increasing popularity, around 78 per cent of debit cards are now contactless, up from 66 per cent from last year.

 

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