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UK contactless spending volumes rise sharply following increase in transaction limit

ON THE UP: UK contactless spending has grown significantly since September 2015

Contactless transaction volumes have risen sharply since the UK transaction limit increased from £20 (US$30) to £30 (US$46) in September 2015, research from Barclaycard reveals. Service stations, pubs and bars, supermarkets and fast food outlets have seen the biggest increases.

Contactless spending has almost doubled in service stations (98%) and in pubs and bars (92%) and is up 62% in supermarkets and fast food outlets. Convenience stores have seen a 59% rise in contactless spending following the limit increase, followed by commuter transport (55%), restaurants (51%), pharmacies (49%), newsagents (40%) and caterers (7%).

More than eight in ten of the 2,003 UK consumers surveyed for Barclaycard say they use less cash now than they did a year ago with 19% admitting to becoming annoyed if they can’t pay using contactless cards or mobile devices.

58% of the survey’s 305 merchant respondents said that customers are using mobile phones and wearable devices more often to pay for goods and services, but the research shows that just one in three merchants (34%) currently accept contactless payments.

Consumer demand

“In 2015, we’ve seen contactless become an even more popular way to pay for small transactions, so much so that we can even get frustrated if a retailer doesn’t offer touch and go as an option,” says Paul Lockstone, managing director at Barclaycard.

“As the consumer appetite for new ways to pay continues to grow, particularly with the upcoming launch of high value payments and the continuing growth in wearable payment devices, we’re expecting 2016 to be another record breaking year for contactless. There’s a real opportunity for UK retailers to step in and meet this growing consumer demand.”

One in ten card payments made across the country are now contactless, according to the latest data from The UK Cards Association.

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