Contactless cards used in over a billion transactions last year

29 February 2016 - Janet Bird

Contactless cards used in over a billion transactions last year

The number of contactless payments topped one billion in the UK for the first time last year and now accounts for one in eight card transactions.

Data released by the UK Cards Association showed that, in December alone, there were 140 million transactions made using contactless cards - 52 every second.

A total of 7.75 billion was spent through these transactions, three times more than in 2014. Contactless payments accounted for £1 billion of spending in November and £1.2 billion during December.

The surge in contactless card payments can be attributed in part to the raising of the transaction limit to £30 in September 2015.

But data released by Barclaycard also showed a 532 percent increase in people using contactless cards on public transport after Transport for London scrapped cash payments on buses and introduced contactless card payments across its network.

Contactless payments in bars went up by 188 percent in 2015, while supermarkets saw a 177 percent rise and transactions in pharmacies went up 207 percent.

The UK Cards Association said 79.3 million cards are now contactless, about half of all debit and credit cards.

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