Britons spent £520 billion on UK goods and services using debit and credit cards in 2013, according to new research from the UK Cards Association.

This figure, which was highlighted in the group's annual payments report, represented a 6.7% year-on-year increase and suggests that three-quarters of all retail spending in 2013 was conducted on plastic.

Data from the UK Cards Association shows that card spending has more than doubled over the last decade, growing from £244 billion in 2003 to its half a trillion total last year.

When adding spending by overseas visitors, the total value of purchases on debit and credit cards in 2013 grew to £534 billion, which the association said constitutes a third of the UK’s total GDP.

By 2023, the total volume of card payments is expected to rise to 17.7 billion, up from 10.7 billion transactions in 2013. The total value of payments is estimated to increase to around £874 billion in 2023.

Melanie Johnson, chair of the UK Cards Association, commented: "With three in every four pounds spent in British shops now paid with cards, these figures reveal a huge shift over the last decade in the way we choose to transact.

"Rather than carrying cash, consumers are increasingly opting for their cards instead, not least because of the extra protections available. The rise in online shopping, coupled with increasing momentum behind contactless cards, will likely see this trend in consumer behaviour continue."

It is true that contactless payment usage has grown, with Visa Europe revealing at the start of 2014 that 30.3 million contactless cards were now in circulation in the UK, alongside 263,000 contactless terminals. Separate research released this week, however, found that consumers might be less inclined to use contactless payment methods than the UK Cards Association estimates.

A survey from Vista Retail Support suggested that security concerns still surround the use of contactless payment technology, with 38% of the 100 consumers questioned avoiding this type of transaction as a result. Last year, Marks & Spencer customers complained that card readers in the retailers' stores were charging their wrong accounts – and perhaps the impact of such a high profile technology glitch is weighing on consumers' minds.

Some 24% of people surveyed, meanwhile, said that they do not use the technology because they are unaware which of their cards are enabled for contactless payments, or because nobody has ever demonstrated how it works. Indeed, 75% of respondents indicated that they have never actively been encouraged to use contactless by the staff working in the retail or fast food chains where the technology exists.

Richard Cottrell, sales and marketing director for Vista Retail Support, said: "The results clearly demonstrate that there is a lack of confidence and understanding about contactless payment technology.

"Shoppers need much more information about these payment methods and more encouragement to use them."

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UK Cards Association

Vista Retail Support