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United Kingdom Country Report

  • Published Date: February 2018

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

Available for 72 markets, Lafferty 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.


  • With the introduction of PSD2 and Open Banking in early 2018, new changes and challenges have been introduced into the British retail banking market.
  • Banks, once consent has been given by account holders, must now grant access to accounts to third parties, who may initiate payments from customer accounts.
  • Households have deleveraged since the financial crisis but the market has stabilised since 2014 with the ratio of consumer finance to PDI standing at around 117 percent.
  • Britain's credit cards market is mature and profitable but increased regulatory oversight will make it more challenging for issuers to maintain current profit levels.
  • Zero percent balance transfers and rewards cards remain the most popular offerings. Several smaller or specialised issuers compete with the big banking groups in the credit cards space.
  • Barclaycard is the leading British credit card issuer in terms of both number of cards in issue and outstanding balances.
  • There has been a clear shift from cash to debit cards in recent years. Debit card purchase volume was over 60 percent higher in 2017 compared to 2011.
  • The rise of contactless technology has been central to this shift, with debit cards increasingly used for low value transactions. The average adult in the UK made over 100 contactless transactions in 2017.
  • Mastercard is the leading credit card network with two-thirds of the market while Visa holds a dominant position in the debit cards market.
  • Britain's acquiring market is concentrated, with around 68 percent of credit card acquired billed volume in the hands of two main players: Barclaycard and Worldpay.


Demographics and Economy:
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:

  • Population structure
  • Income
  • Mobile and internet use
  • Economic data

Retail Banking:
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:

  • Aggregate retail banking indicators
  • Bank branch, ATMS and POS terminals
  • Profitability of top banks

Consumer Finance:
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:

  • Mortgage loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card loans
  • Vehicle loans

Credit Cards:
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our data and commentary, including:

  • Market size split by consumer and commercial credit cards: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Profit pool analysis
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Debit Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Prepaid Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume


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