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    Shoppers in the UK like using their credit cards due to the security they offer, it is believed.

    Tim Pie, a spokesperson from HSBC, believes debit cards are also popular for the same reason, with people enjoying the convenience they offer.

    "It is becoming increasingly common for people to buy a round of drinks with a debit card and other convenience goods as more and more retailers are now accepting cards," he reveals.

    Cheque usage is in decline, however, with many businesses now refusing to accept them as a method of payment.

    However, tradesmen are still accepting cheques, which Mr Pie believes is because "they have it in their in their hands rather than giving you their account details".

    Latest figures from Apacs, the UK payments association, show that plastic cards accounted for 66 per cent of all UK retail spending last year, with debit cards accounting for two-thirds of all spending on cards.

    During 2008, the growth of debit card spending at retailers remained strong with spending rising by 6.8 per cent, with electronic payments also continuing to rise.

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