The number of payments made using Apple Pay and Google Pay increased by nearly 650% and the number of PIN-free contactless card transactions grew by more than 10% in certain regions of the UK, according to figures published by merchant payments provider Dojo.
In other regions, adoption rates were lower, with some seeing increases in Apple Pay and Google Pay transactions of 375% or less and less than 7% growth in contactless card payments.
The greatest increase in Apple Pay and Google Pay payments above the £45 (US$62.50) contactless transaction limit was in Hull (646.8%) followed by Northampton (481.7%) and Plymouth (474.5%). The lowest was reported in Peterborough (375.5%), Exeter (372.8%) and Cardiff (354%).
The more significant increases in contactless card payments below £45 were in York (10.6%), Plymouth (10.6%) and London (10.4%), with the lowest in Bournemouth (6.9%), Northampton (6.9%) and Gloucester (6.7%)
“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed everyone’s lives in a number of ways that we could have never predicted even 13 months ago,” says Dojo’s head of customer insight Jon Knott.
“Smaller businesses that were previously cash only have rapidly changed how they operate to meet consumer demands and keep pace with larger competitors, so they don’t lose custom.
“It’s clear that the huge upturn in the use of contactless technology is speeding up the UK’s shift towards a cashless economy, but at a rate far beyond what anyone was expecting pre-coronavirus.
“With consumers now having embraced the ease and practicality of going contactless and with the introduction of the £100 contactless card limit set to launch this year we expect to see these changes stick.”
Visa reported that it had processed 400m additional PIN-less, touch-free payments in the UK since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic earlier this month.
The UK Treasury announced that it is to raise the country’s contactless translation limit to £100 in March.
• Find full and up-to-date details of worldwide contactless limit increases in NFCW’s table of contactless transaction limit changes.