Kiwi shoppers went on a swiping spree yesterday, spending more than $282 million electronically - nearly 5 per cent more than on the same trading day last year - and breaking records for the number of digital transactions processed during a single hour.

Between midday and 1pm nearly 600,000 sales were put through Paymark's network, which processes 75 per cent of New Zealand's digital transactions.

Just after 12.10pm the record for the volume of transactions processed per second was also beaten. It now stands at 178.

But both records are likely to be short lived, Paymark said in a statement, as today's spending is set to be even greater.


Paymark's sales data also hints at what New Zealanders might find under their Christmas tree or in their stockings - spending at appliance stores was up 33 per cent yesterday on the equivalent shopping day last year.

Hardware retailers, toy shops and department stores also saw increases in spending of about 14 per cent each when compared to December 22, 2016.

Consumers spent 4 per cent less on clothing than they did at the same time last year and year on year spending was flat at book stores yesterday.

Overall, December spending had increased significantly in the regions, with marginal increases seen in the main centres.

Retailers in Marlborough have had a stellar month so far, with shoppers spending $54 million there - 21 per cent more than this time last year.

Aucklanders and Northlanders spent $1771 million during the first three weeks of December. This figure was a 6 per cent increase on that period for 2016.