How we pay in the UK: Contactless now makes up a quarter of card transactions

Contactless card being used at payment terminal

The rise continues. It was only a few months ago, back in August, when spending via contactless accounted for 20% of all card transactions in the UK. Now, the technology has reached another milestone: contactless now makes up a quarter of all UK card transactions, according to the latest figures from the UK Card Association (UKCA). 

325 million purchases were made using contactless debit and credit cards in November 2016, accounting for 25% of all card payments in the month.

The continuing rise of the tap-and-go spending method also resulted in another record breaking month, with  £2.9 billion being spent using the technology in November. This marks an increase of 184% year-on-year when contactless spending first hit £1 billion in a single month.

The UKCA says there are now 101.8 million contactless cards, debit and credit, in UK circulation.

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said:

“With 125 taps every second in the UK, it’s clear that people are opting for contactless when they are at the till. No longer is it just for the lunchtime sandwich, consumers are using their contactless cards wherever they go – for the grocery shop, in clothes stores, and, increasingly, for the commute too.”

Nine out of ten (88%) contactless transactions are made on debit cards, meaning that credit or charge cards only account for £349.3 million of the £2.9 billion.

The report also highlighted the increase in bank-owned terminals are available in the UK where contactless cardholders can make a contactless transaction. Their presence rose by 44.5% year-on-year to 439,623.

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