Britons have spent £647bn with the use of payment cards in 2016, an increase of 4% compared to total card spending of £620bn a year ago, according to the latest figures released by The UK Cards Association.

Overall, 2016 recorded 14.8 billion card transactions, with debit cards accounting for majority (£461bn) of the card spending.

Contactless payments contributed to £25bn of spending, a surge from £7.75bn in the prior year. In total, 2.9 billion contactless transactions were conducted in 2016.

Retail spending on cards stood at £298bn in 2016, compared to £290bn in the previous year. Payment cards contributed to 76.4% of retail spending in 2016.

The UK Cards Association CEO Graham Peacop said: “Cards are the preferred way to pay for millions of consumers and underpin the retail economy. Contactless cards are increasingly becoming the payment method of choice for everyday, low-value purchases, with a quarter of card payments now contactless.”