These are the most popular payment methods used by UK consumers in 2019

paying by debit card

A critical cornerstone of success in business is being able to accurately identify and cater to the needs of the customer.

If a business is not up to date with contemporary consumer habits, they are setting themselves up for failure and risk alienating the very audiences they’re trying hardest to engage with.

Awareness of what kind of marketing or product design most appeals to your target audience is all well and good, but this counts for little if the infrastructure of your business isn’t equipped for their spending habits.

Having the right payment platforms in place is vital if you want to both attract and retain customers for your business. The slightest whiff of inconvenience is enough to drive paying customers and clients away, which is why you need to know what the most popular payment methods in the UK are right now.

Visa, Mastercard & American Express

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the card is king in the United Kingdom. Card payments surpassed cash payments in the country for the first time back in 2016, with debit and credit card payments now galloping ahead of all other forms of payment.

In the online payment realm, card dominates, accounting for close to 52% of all online payments made in the UK in 2018. The most popular card payment methods are Visa, Mastercard, and American Express (AmEx), in that order, with the UK being one of the largest users of AmEx outside of the United States.


Digital payment platforms have been embraced by UK consumers for their convenience and security, so it’s no surprise how quickly businesses have adopted them. All kinds of goods and services can now be paid for via the leading payment app, PayPal, from food to travel, to clothing and digital entertainment.

Particularly tech-savvy industries have been quick to adopt these platforms in order to improve the customer’s user experience, with the online casino industry being one of the first to adopt PayPal en masse. As such, millions of consumers now use PayPal to place bets and receive cash payouts from casino games online, cementing the platform as one of the fastest-growing in the UK.

Apple Pay, Amazon Pay & Google Pay

Hot on the heels of PayPal are emerging mobile payment methods, with Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay being the most popular in terms of market share and total numbers of users, with a full 27% of UK consumers listing Apple Pay as their favourite method of buying things.

These mobile payment methods can be used for both online and in-store purchases, and the instantaneous nature of the transaction, which requires zero effort on behalf of the consumer, is key to their success. Businesses as diverse as takeaways, hardware shops, car dealerships, and pubs now accept mobile payment, which is remarkable given how niche it was only a couple of years ago.

Now that you know how UK consumers shop, you have no excuses. It’s time to ensure your business is prepared by adopting the platforms listed above so that your customers are catered for in every situation.