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A professional overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in the United Kingdom, with expert commentary backed by relevant data and market forecasts to 2025.
The report explores the UK payments system covering infrastructure payment preferences, consumer payment trends and the development of online payment systems. As well as a detailed UK credit card report, our financial experts chart the development of mobile payments, including proximity and P2P payments.
Our writers and researchers frame information in contexts such as historical, sectoral and regional trends, adding a layer of value often missing from the rolling news cycle.
Gain insights into the UK payments market from analysis of trends since 2016 with estimates and forecasts of market movements to 2025.
This UK card market report enables clients to make sound strategic business decisions with the support of detailed historic and forecast market data for Britain's markets.
There is a strong appetite for credit here and habitual recourse to cards at the POS and online. Although Britain is among the most mature card markets globally, there remains room for growth: credit card outstandings in 2022 remain 13 per cent lower than the 2019 pre-pandemic figure. What seems an unavoidable economic recession should make credit access particularly useful and in demand.
The average adult will spend around $24k on cards in 2022. Contactless now accounts for going on two-thirds of card-present transactions. Acquiring banks have begun to offer affiliated merchants cash-advance loans, repayable via card sales. New regulation aims to increase competition in merchant acquiring for smaller merchants.
BNPL spending hit $8bn in 2021, but with its activities being curtailed, that leaves the credit card unchallenged for mainstream consumers, with the account-to-account ecosystem yet to gain mass appeal for payments purposes – although it should be noted that digital/challenger banks now have one in 12 current accounts
Mastercard has grown market share, particularly in debit cards, thanks to some notable portfolio wins and a strong position in the challenger-bank segment. FIS is bested only by Barclaycard for merchant acquiring and has established this position in the market mainly due to its relationship with large retailers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Regulatory and other cards market information
UK Country Report Data Tables
(All 2016-25F unless otherwise stated)
1: Demographic and economic indicators
2: Ownership of key consumer devices
3: Internet usage by population
4: Access points 2016-23F
5: Account penetration
6: Consumer payment trends 2016-23F
7: B2C e-commerce payment methods 2016-23F
8: Total cards payment metrics
9: Contactless cards metrics
10: Credit card numbers
11: Total credit cards metrics
12: Credit cards profitability indicators
13: Debit cards numbers
14: Debit cards metrics
15: Prepaid/e-money cards metrics
16: Mobile proximity payment metrics 2017-25F
17 : Mobile P2P payments 2017-25F
18: UK market profit pool including credit card numbers, billed volumes, outstandings, interest incomes, net interest revenues, merchant revenues, card fee revenues, other non-interest incomes, total revenues, net credit losses, operating expenses, total expenses, pre-tax profits, merchant service charges, rollover rates, APR, net credit losses to outstandings, operating costs to revenues, ROA (pre-tax profits to outstandings).
(All 2016-23F below unless otherwise stated)
19: Networks' credit card market shares
20: Networks' credit card numbers
21: Networks' credit card billed volume
22: Networks' number of credit card transactions
23: Networks' average credit card transaction value
24: Credit card interchange fees by network
25: Networks' debit card market shares
26: Networks' debit card numbers
27: Networks' debit card billed volume
28: Networks' number of debit card transactions
29: Networks' average debit card transaction value
30: Debit card interchange fees by network
31: Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers 2018-23F
32: Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings 2018-23F
33: Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers 2018-23F
34: Merchant acquirer credit card market share 2022E
35: Credit card merchant service charges
36: Merchant acquirer debit card market share: 2022E
37: Debit card merchant service charges
(All 2022E below)
38: Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
39: Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
40: Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
41: Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions
42: Online merchant acquirer market share
British consumers have proven to be enthusiastic adopters of modern technology when it comes to how they shop and pay. E-commerce has flourished, contributing to the increase in electronic payments.
The United Kingdom is Europe's biggest market for payment cards – and one of the world's most advanced and innovative. The market is also mature, with a high penetration rate of credit and debit cards by global standards.
By the end of 2021, almost 20 million adults in the UK had a mobile-payment account with one of the various Pays. The pandemic undoubtedly had a positive effect on the uptake of such services, as consumers sought a more hygienic manner to pay for purchases.
Industry-wide pre-tax profitability declined by a significant margin in both 2019 and 2020. For the former year, the decline was mostly due to an increase in net credit losses. For 2020, the main cause was the decline in credit- card usage due to the pandemic.
Mastercard and Visa account for the vast majority of credit cards in issue ... The majority of debit cards are Visa-branded. Mastercard, however, has inked deals with several issuers that have allowed it to gain ground rapidly.
Key Retail Banks and Issuers
Five institutions dominate the British retail banking market: Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, NatWest Group, HSBC and Santander. These accounted for around 74% of debit cards in issue at the end of 2022.
Acquiring and Processing
Britain's acquiring market is concentrated, with some 60% of the total acquired billed volume in the hands of Barclaycard and Fidelity National Information Service. As they have globally, independent service operators have made significant inroads into the British acquiring processing market.
The United Kingdom is a global leader in e-commerce adoption: total online acquired billed volume made using payment cards reached an estimated $393 billion in 2022.
Regulatory and Markets Information
Pay.UK, founded in May 2018 on the forum's recommendation, runs the country's interbank retail banking infrastructure. It now bears the operational responsibilities previously borne by Bacs, Faster Payments, the Mobile Payments Service Company, Universal Trust Service Provider (UTSP), the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company and the UK Payments Administration.
AIB Merchant Services
Alliance & Leicester
Allied Irish Banks
Automated Clearing House
Bank of America
Bank of England
Bank of Ireland UK
Bank of Scotland
Barclays Mobile Banking
Bradford & Bingley
Central bank digital currency
Cheque and Credit Clearing Company
Competition and Markets Authority
Competition Appeal Tribunal
Confirmation of Payee
Elavon Merchant Services
European Economic Area
Faster Payments Service
Fidelity National Information Service
Financial Conduct Authority
Financial Policy Committee
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
General Data Protection Regulation
GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes
HM Revenue and Customs
John Lewis Financial Services
Lloyds Banking Group
Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer Financial Services
Mobile Payments Service Company
New Payments Architecture
Pay by Bank app
Payment System Regulator
People's Bank of China
Prudential Regulation Authority
Request to Pay
revised Payment Services Directive
Special Resolution Unit
Strong Customer Authentication
Transport for London
UEFA Champions League
UK Payments Administration
Universal Trust Service Provider
Virgin Money UK
Reports include detailed market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring, retail banking, and European consumer credit. Analysts use primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and European finance experts.
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