The number of debit and credit card transactions grew by 1.1 per cent last month to reach 1.093 billion, according to the latest figures from The UK Cards Association.

Total card spending rose to £51.1 billion in May, up by 0.8 per cent during the month. Debit cards made up almost three-quarters (71.4 per cent) of card spending amounting to £36.5 billion.

Last month consumers made 124 million online purchases, up by 1.5 per cent on April, spending a total of £11.2 billion. Internet spending represented over a fifth (21.8 per cent) of total card spending.

The average value of a card transaction dropped to £46.92 in May, down by over £1 compared to a year ago. This amount has fallen consistently since 2011, reflecting the increased use of contactless cards and the ongoing migration from low value cash payments towards cards.

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, commented:

“More and more consumers are now choosing to reach for the cards in their wallets first when they come to pay. With the contactless limit increasing to £30 from September, it’s expected that the growing trend of using cards rather than cash will continue.”