Author: Marketing, 20 March 2018


Last week Visa announced that consumer spending in 2018 was at its lowest since 2012. For clients looking to assess asset value and growth potential, having the right data is vital.  At FSP, we know that with more data-sets available than ever, it’s key to ensure you receive insight as well as data

FSP’s Payment Analysis research looked at the range of consumer shopping payment methods, with the aim to dig deeper into how we interpret the benefits – and limitations- of different payment data.  Some interesting trends emerged:

Cash is king (albeit a small one)

Despite the rise of contactless payment, cash is still the main payment method for small purchases -  those of £10 or less and still the most frequently used.  At the other end of the spend spectrum, credit cards are the main method for payments for large ticket items. Specifically, we found that region is a significant driver of cash use. Wales, Northern Ireland and the North East use cash more frequently than other parts of the country; by contrast they had the lowest frequency of credit card use. This is a real consideration for clients looking to understand the way their customers shop

Credit card insights

While cash and debit card are used by nearly all our research showed credit cards are less representative - a third of respondents did not own  a credit card.  In addition, ownership is affluence-led with 88% of respondents in Social Grade A owning a credit card compared to just 34% in Group E.

Despite lower ownership and frequency of use, 30% of annual spend is conducted on credit cards because of their high value purchases.

It’s an age thing

Age is a real influencer when it comes to payment options. While debit card spend frequency is high,  age plays a key part in frequency of use; those in the 18-34 band use a debit card 175 times a year, while those in the 55 to 75 year bracket use them less(100 times a year). Overall, debit card transactions account for half of all annual spend.

Mobile has a way to go

Across our payment research, mobile contactless is the least popular option. Again, it’s heavily skewed by age; 56% of 18-34 year olds use mobile contactless, compared to just 23% of 55-75 year olds. Regionally, mobile contactless is most popular in London (54%) and Scotland (49%).  Regions with the lowest levels of adoption (c.30%) were the South East, South West, Wales and Yorkshire

Our research shows that when it comes to payment data, there are subtle nuances and behaviour considerations – driven by categories such as region, social and age – that create a truly complex picture of how consumers spend.  Getting beneath these data sets, and analysing them with these in mind is how we can provide a true picture of shopping behaviour, helping our clients make the right decisions around their assets.


For a copy of FSP’s Payment Analysis research, please contact us

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