The British bicycle industry was estimated to be worth £500m per annum in 2001. However, household expenditure figures from the Office of National Statistics said that sales were £974m in 2002. Now, the ACT has revealed that just 322 IBDs are turning over £82m a year on credit/debit cards alone.

How big is the IBD market in the UK?

The total annual turnover – Oct 04 to Oct 05 – generated by ACT members using the Association’s card processing deal with HSBC was £82.2m, a £15m increase on the previous year.

322 of the ACT’s 800 members take advantage of the ACT/HSBC card processing scheme. The 322 members represent 402 outlets. These 402 had credit card turnover of £43.7m and debit card turnover of £38.5m.

ACT’s Mark Brown said: "These figures are very impressive and make for interesting reading. I’m really pleased to see so many IBDs have got wise to the fact they need the best deal they can when it comes to saving money in this area. Card use continues to increase so dealers need to understand how important it is to reduce this overhead.

"ACT can help dealers save money on card processing costs because of the exclusive low rates we get through our partnership with HSBC. The more dealers who use it the better the rates get."

According to APACS – the people responsible for overseeing the card payments sector – plastic cards are the most heavily used non-cash payment method in the UK, with around 141 million multi-function payment cards in issue at the end of 2004. There were a further 25 million cards whose sole function is to withdraw cash and some 23 million so-called store cards. Approximately 90 percent of UK adults hold one or more cards. The number of transactions on all types of UK-issued cards in 2004 reached £8.3bn. Total plastic card spending was £463.9bn during 2004.

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