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Further growth in contactless spending

Further growth in contactless spending

Category: Banking

Updated: 26/02/2016
First Published: 26/02/2016

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Spending on contactless cards more than tripled in 2015, latest data from The UK Cards Association shows, and with this form of technology becoming increasingly common, it's little wonder. Are you getting involved?

Rising popularity

The figures show that the value of contactless spending reached £7.75bn last year, up from £2.32bn in 2014, and meaning that total contactless spending was more than double the preceding seven years combined. Not only that, but a total of 1.05bn contactless purchases were made during the 12 months, an increase of 228% year-on-year, with around half (79.3m) of all debit and credit cards now featuring the technology.

Meanwhile, the monthly figures show that contactless spending grew to £1.2bn in December 2015, up 17% from November's total, with 140m contactless transactions taking place – equating to 52 every second. "It's fair to say that this method of payment has become a firm favourite among spenders," commented Rachel Springall, finance expert at Moneyfacts, with the latest statistics revealing "the increasing popularity of contactless payments over cash".

Technological advancements

This popularity has arguably been boosted by the influx of cards that are now enabled with the function, with many providers now issuing these cards as standard. Not only that, but shoppers will notice that more and more retailers are offering terminals that have a contactless option, speeding up payment at the till and meaning there's no need to root around for loose change.

"Consumers who shop on a frequent basis and make lots of small purchases are increasingly likely to use the contactless option with their cards or smartphones, or even their wristbands in some cases," added Rachel. "This is because the limit for contactless spending was raised to £30 from September 2015, which means spenders can use contactless payment to buy most ad-hoc purchases.

"Technology is forever advancing and providers are keen to invest in mobile use for payment methods, so we are likely to see regular increases in the number of people using their smartphones for banking and shopping in the future."

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