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United Kingdom Country Report

  • Published Date: December 2019

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in the United Kingdom.

What you will learn from this report:

  • The role of contactless in reshaping payments
  • What moves are being made by incumbents and challengers
  • The preferences shaping credit/debit cardholding patterns
  • How the global schemes have been pre-empting disintermediation
  • Why there remains significant potential in the payments space

UK Cards and Payments Market Key Facts

  • Thanks to progressive regulation and consumer adoption of modern technology, the United Kingdom has become one of the world's most advanced and competitive payments markets.
  • Britain is gradually moving to a cash-lite economy. The number of debit card purchase transactions surpassed the number of cash purchases for the first time in 2017.
  • This has been enabled by an ever-extending acceptance infrastructure: 4,935 POS terminals per 100,000 adults at the end of 2018, versus 3,132 the year before. In addition, more than half of card-present transactions are now contactless.
  • E-commerce has significantly contributed to more usage of payment cards: debit cards were the leading payment method for online transactions during 2019.
  • The credit cards market is highly competitive, as shown by the long interest-free periods offered for balance transfers.
  • Mastercard is gaining share in the debit cards market through winning issuer portfolios and supporting the growing challenger bank industry.
  • Lloyds, having acquired MBNA in 2017, is now the leading issuer for both credit and debit cards.
  • New regulations aim to reduce the number of consumers with problematic credit card indebtedness. Regulators are currently concluding a review of the merchant acquiring industry, with a view to optimising outcomes for both merchants and consumers.

View the UK Country Report Table of Contents

Key facts
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e- commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Contactless cards metrics
  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics
  • Prepaid/e-money cards metrics

Appendix IV: Mobile payments

  • Mobile proximity payment metrics
  • Mobile P2P payments

Appendix V: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix VI: The networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix VII: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VIII: Acquiring and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by number of POS transactions

Appendix IX: Online acquiring

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Entities referenced in this report

Abbey National
Account information service providers
Advent International
Adyen
Aer Lingus
Alipay
Alliance & Leicester
Allied Irish Banks
Amazon
American Express
Android Pay
Apple
Apple Pay
Aqua Card
Argos
Asda
Atom Bank
Aviva
AXA
Bacs
Bain Capital
Bank of America
Bank of England
Bank of Ireland
Bank of Japan
Bank of Scotland
Barclaycard
Barclays
BNP Paribas Personal Finance UK

Bradford & Bingley
Braintree
British Court of Appeal
Capital One
Cardnet
Cardstream
Cheque and Credit Clearing Company
CMA
Competition and Markets Authority
Co-operative Bank
Coutts
Cult Pens
CyberSource
Danske Bank
DataCash
Diners Club
Discover
eBay
Elevon Merchant Services
European Central Bank
European Union
Exela Technologies
Facebook
Faster Payments Service
FCA
Fidelity National Information
Financial Conduct Authority
Financial Policy Committee
First Data
First Direct
FIS
Fiserv
FPS
Funky Pigeon
GDPR
General Data Protection Regulation
Global Payments
Google
Google Pay
Halifax
Hays Travel
HBOS
Hibu
HMV
HSBC
Ingenico
Intuit
iZettle
John Lewis Finance
JustGiving
KLM
Lex Autolease
LINK
Lloyds Bank
Lloyds Banking Group
Lufthansa
M&S Bank
Mastercard
MBNA
Metro Bank
Mobile Payments Service Company
Monzo
N26
Nationwide
NatWest
NatWest Tyl
Netflix
New Payments Architecture
NewDay
Next
O2
Oak Furnitureland
Open Banking
Oyster
Paddy Power
Pay by Bank app
Pay with Bank transfer
Pay.UK
Paym
Payment Systems Regulator
Payments UK
PayPal
PbBa
Pingit
PISPs
Play.com
PRA
Prudential Regulation Authority
PSD2
PSR
RBS
Realex Payments
Request to Pay
Revised Payment Services Directive
Revolut
Richer Sounds
Royal Lancaster London
Sage Pay
Sainsbury's Bank
Samsung Pay
Santander
SCA
Scottish Widows
Secure Trading
Shop Direct
Special Resolution Unit
Spotify
Starling Bank
Stripe
Strong Customer Authentication
SumUp
Tesco Bank
TfL
Thai Airways
The Card Gallery
The Post Office
TransferWise
Transport for London
TSB
TSYS
Twitter
Uber
UK Payments Administration
Ulster Bank
UnionPay
Universal Credit
Universal Trust Service Provider
US Federal Reserve
UTSP
Vanquis Bank
Vantiv
Virgin Atlantic
Visa
Visa Europe
Vocalink
Vodafone
WHSmith
Worldpay
Yorkshire Bank

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Available for 72 markets, Verisk Financial Research Country Reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit. A dedicated team of analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data, and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and experts.

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