When it comes to payment methods in the UK, the debit card is king. That is the verdict of APACS, which has revealed total consumer spending on debit cards amounted to £245.4 billion in 2008 - a significant rise of 6.8 per cent on the previous year. Other spending trends seen in 2008 included levels of cash and credit card spending remaining at a similar rate to 2007, cheque use falling and electronic methods rising. UK consumers parted with almost £270 billion in retail spending in 2008, 43 per cent by debit card (£116.1 billion), 32 per cent (£86 billion) by cash, 23 per cent (£60.7 billion) by credit card, and just three per cent by cheque (£7.1 billion). Total general consumer spending - which takes financial payments, travel spending and entertainment into account - also experienced a sharp increase in debit card and automated payment methods, totalling £245 billion and £333 billion respectively. "The rise to dominance of the debit card both on and off the high street has been meteoric - it was only back in December 2004 that combined total credit and debit card spending overtook total cash spending for the first time," said Sandra Quinn, director of communications. "This year we expect debit card spending alone will outstrip cash spending for the first time."
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