More than one in five card payments in UK use contactless, figures show

Barclays contactless debit card
ONE IN FIVE: 21% of UK consumers now using contactless cards to make card payments

More than one in five card payments are now made using contactless cards, The UK Cards Association says, adding it is “excited” by the possibilities the technology brings for making payments to transport operators and charities.

Contactless cards were used for 21% of card payments in August 2016, totalling £2.3bn. In August 2015, they were used for 7.9% of card purchases. The average contactless card transaction was £8.97 in August, compared to £7.12 in August 2015 — a rise of 26%.

Meanwhile, the number of contactless transactions increased from 89m in August 2015 to 260.7m in August 2016, while the number of contactless debit cards in circulation increased from 74.5m to 97m in the same period.

Explosion in popularity

“Contactless cards have exploded in popularity over the past year and are now being used for one in every five card payments,” says Richard Koch from The UK Cards Association.

“While more shoppers than ever are using contactless cards for small purchases, we are excited by the possibilities they will bring over the coming years for public transport operators and charities.”

The UK Cards Association reported in August that spending on contactless cards in the UK during the first half of 2016 outstripped the total for the whole of 2015.

Earlier this week, all London’s black cabs became enabled for contactless payments, after Transport for London consultation found 86% of respondents wanted to be able to use cards and contactless payments in taxis.

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