May 23, 2014, 2:20 PM

Online purchases account for 20% of U.K. credit and debit card spending

Each household will spend about $6,727 online this year and pay for most of those transactions with credit and debit cards.

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Consumers in the United Kingdom will spend 107 billion pounds ($179.9 billion at current exchange rates) on the web this year, about 4,000 pounds ($6,727) per household, and pay for the majority of those transactions by credit and debit card, according to Barclaycard, a credit card issuer and payment processor in the U.K. and a division of Barclays Bank Plc.

Barclaycard claims to process nearly half of all debit and credit payments in the United Kingdom, and its data show how U.K. consumers spend their money online versus offline. E-commerce now accounts for one out of every five pounds spent on credit and debit cards sales in the U.K.

In air travel, it’s much higher, as consumers buy 80% of their airplane tickets online, Barclaycard says. Total U.K. spending with airlines will be up 4.2% this year over last. Music purchases take the next spot, with consumers buying 79% of their music online and total spending on music online growing 124% year over year.

Barclaycard says 59% of spending on movie and theater tickets occurs online, as does 49% of spending on concert and entertainment tickets.

“More and more of us are turning to the web to research, compare prices and buy everything from cinema trips and electronics to the latest fashions, making it an inextricable part of modern retail,” says Chris Wood, managing director of Barclaycard.

It says 45% of visits to transaction-enabled web sites come from smartphones and tablets, with a third of sales taking place on them.

The U.K. is by far the largest market for online spending in Europe, accounting for 31.8% of the web spending in the region, according to E-commerce Europe. The U.K. also is home to 148 of the 500 largest e-retailers of goods in Europe ranked by 2013 web sales, according to the newly released 2014 Europe 500. The four U.K.-based e-retailers in the top 10 alone generated the equivalent of $12.48 billion in sales.  

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