Staggering rise in contactless payment transactions

16 May 2016 - Janet Bird

uk contactless payments

The number of contactless payment transactions in the UK last month rose a staggering 300 percent compared to the same period in 2015.

Figures from credit card giant Visa show there were 153 million purchases using contactless in April 2016, compared to just 51 million during the same month in 2015.

Europe-wide, Visa says contactless payments now account for one in five of all transactions, compared to one in 60 just three years ago. During the last year, Visa recorded over three billion contactless payments in Europe.

Data from the UK Cards Association shows there are now around 84.2 million contactless cards in the UK - an increase of 36.5 percent in the past year alone - with many people now preferring contactless to cash when it comes to buying smaller purchases.

The Association said a number of factors had contributed to the huge increase in contactless payments: contactless cards now make up around half of all credit and debit cards and there has also been a big increase in the number of places where you can use them - the number of bank owned contactless terminals has gone up 50.7 percent in a year.

The roll out of contactless payments across the Transport for London network has also had a huge impact, generating more than a million transactions a day.

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