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A fifth of all card payments are now contactless

A fifth of all card payments are now contactless

Category: Banking

Updated: 07/11/2016
First Published: 04/11/2016

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Contactless payments have become the norm in recent months, hitting records on a regular basis, and their popularity is going from strength to strength – a fact that's further highlighted by new findings from The UK Cards Association, which show that one in five card payments are now contactless.

The figures show that contactless cards were used for 21% of all card payments in August 2016, totalling a whopping £2.3bn. In August 2015, they were used for just 7.9% of card purchases, so their rapid growth is clear.

This could have been driven by the contactless limit rising to £30 in September last year, which perhaps explains why the average card transaction in August 2015 stood at £7.12, whereas it was £8.97 in August this year.

Indeed, the number of contactless transactions has increased dramatically in the last year, up from 89 million in August 2015 to 260.7 million in August 2016, while the number of contactless debit cards in circulation increased from 74.5 million to 97 million over the same period.

"Contactless cards have exploded in popularity over the past year and are now being used for one in every five card payments," said Richard Koch, head of Policy at The UK Cards Association. He added that more shoppers than ever are using contactless cards for smaller purchases, and that this technology is set to open up further opportunities over the coming years for public transport and charities, with TfL already being contactless.

The appeal of this form of payment is easy to see – it's quick, simple and hassle-free, and with a growing number of cards offering this kind of technology (not to mention the likes of mobile phone payments and contactless watches), its rise in popularity is only set to continue. Does your provider offer contactless payments? If so, see if your card is due an upgrade. If they don't, or if you're not happy with your provider for any other reason, check out the top current accounts and see if it's time to switch. Millions are doing it, after all.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.