Monday December 23 will be the busiest shopping day of the year according to Visa Europe, which predicts £1.2bn will be spent on its cards.

An average of £862,500 per minute or £15,000 per second is expected to be spent on Visa cards in a last minute dash to buy gifts, food and drink ahead of Christmas Day.

The highest volume of transactions is anticipated to peak between 1pm and 2pm when workers take their lunch break to sprint around the shops.

Visa is predicting that it will process 31 million transactions on its UK cards during December 23.

Visa Europe director of commercial development Jeremy Nicholds said: “The high-street is still ideally placed to serve shoppers’ needs for last minute presents, key grocery items and other supplies as Christmas Day approaches. With £862,500 expected to be spent every minute on the UK’s high streets with Visa cards, there are indications that this may well be one of the best Christmases in recent times for retailers.”

Visa bases its predictions on up to the minute spending data and Christmas spending trends from previous years. £1 in every £3 in the UK is spent on a Visa card.