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Over two-thirds of all spending last year was done on plastic cards, figures from the UK payments’ association show.

Apacs reveals that debit card and electronic payments have continued to rise, with credit card usage and cheques seeing a slight decline.

"Despite what started to happen across the economy last year these latest figures don’t reveal any marked changes from the annual trends we’ve seen over the past few years," comments Sandra Quinn, director of communications.

She added that spending on debit cards is likely to outstrip cash transactions for the first time in 2009.

Additional statistics show that £371.6 billion was spent on plastic cards alone last year, with credit card usage experiencing a two per cent increase.

However, the UK retail statistics suggest credit card transactions suffered a decline of 0.2 per cent.

Last month, Apacs welcomed moves by the government to protect vulnerable credit card customers by making checks to ensure they could repay what they owed.

"This is part of our ongoing commitment to champion responsible lending," the association stated.

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