Christmas online spending to break £5bn barrier

UK payments body Apacs has warned a 55 percent rise in online spending in December means there will be more potential fraud victims
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

UK shoppers are forecast to spend more than £5bn online during December, according to UK payments association Apacs.

And Monday 3 December is predicted to be the most popular day for online shopping on the record-breaking run up to Christmas.

Online spending on cards is set to rise by more than half (55 percent) to £5.6bn — meaning more than £1bn per week will be spent.

Total spending on cards is expected to increase by almost 10 percent this December compared to last year.

Apacs recently estimated that the combined spending through cards, cash and cheques will hit £53bn for December — an increase of 4.2 percent on 2006.

The number of adults shopping online has more than doubled in the last five years to around 30 million, meaning more people are potential victims of fraud, according to Apacs.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs, said the internet takes the stress out of Christmas shopping but it's important that people take steps to protect themselves.

Among the measures suggested by Apacs are: keeping antivirus software up-to-date and registering payment cards with the card-security schemes.

Apacs has issued the Paying Safely Online advice guide, which outlines steps people should take when shopping online and what to do if things go wrong.

There is also an Apacs website explaining how to sign up to security schemes such as Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode.

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