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UK Contactless Payments Top £1bn

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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December was biggest month ever for contactless spending as 2015 marks bumper year for retailers and consumers alike

Britain is well and truly becoming a nation of contactless spenders as adoption of the technology reached new highs in 2015, new figures have shown.

Research from the UK Cards Association found that British consumers spent £7.75bn using contactless cards in 2015 as spending rose 233 percent on 2014’s figure, and was equal to more than double the preceding seven years combined.

2015 proved to a landmark year for contactless spending in the UK, as a total of 1.05 billion purchases were made in 2015, up 228 percent on the previous year.

Rush

shoppingHelped by the Christmas rush, December 2015 was the biggest month on record for contactless payments, with £1.2 billion spent during the month over 140 million contactless transactions, the equivalent to 52 every second.

Around half of all debit and credit cards are now contactless, with a total of 79.3 million cards featuring the technology.

“The swift increase in contactless usage continued apace last year, with nearly one in eight card transactions now using the technology,” said Graham Peacop, chief executive of The UK Cards Association. “Whether it’s to stock up in the supermarket, travel to work, or buy your lunch, contactless is a fast, easy and secure way to make payments.

“With a contactless payment, you no longer have to fumble around for the loose change in your purse or wallet. You can simply pay using a contactless card or with your mobile phone.”

Missing out

And British businesses face losing out on valuable customers unless they accelerate their adoption of contactless payments, research from payments firm WorldPay revealed today.

The company said it had seen a 160 percent rise in the number of contactless transactions completed in the UK during 2015, with 45 million contactless transactions now made each month.

WorldPay saw particularly strong growth in pubs, bars and restaurants, which now make up nearly half (48 percent) of all the UK’s contactless transactions, followed closely by entertainment venues such as cinemas and theatres (31 percent).

The company also predicted that the introduction of High Value Contactless, which allows for payments higher than the current £30 limit, will also help with adoption of the technology as consumers see more and more chances to spend.

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