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August 26, 2015

MasterCard sees five-fold contactless explosion in 2015

Contactless card adoption soars as £30 daily limit approaches.

By Alexander Sword

Spending by Brits on contactless cards has risen over five times in the last year, as the technology reaches greater adoption.

The value of transactions rose 560 percent year-on-year; the year to July 2014 saw a 373 percent increase, showing that adoption is actually accelerating.

The number of contactless card transactions made with MasterCard also increased 457 percent since last summer.

These figures are supported by figures from the UK Cards Association showing that there were 87 million more purchases in the second quarter of 2015 than the first quarter of the year.

The value of the contactless card market is expected to grow from 1 September, when the limit for daily expenditure will rise to £30.

Mark Barnett, President of MasterCard UK & Ireland said: "The pace of growth we are seeing in contactless is getting ever faster as we rely less and less on cash. Consumers enjoy the speed and convenience of tapping to pay.

"We expect this upward trend to persist with consumers continuing to migrate to contactless card payments and increasingly to mobile payments, as we work with partners such as Apple to enable more convenient ways to pay."

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Barnett cited the example of the upcoming Rugby World Cup matches, where contactless will be deployed at shops, bars and concession stands.

"At this year’s Rugby World Cup, fans needn’t spend so much time queuing for drinks at half-time. We want to speed up the payment process so they don’t miss any of the action.

"Contactless shows its versatility very well in the big stadium environment, whether fans want to pay with cards or Apple Pay."

Consumer protection group Which? recently released a report suggesting that they were able to steal card details using easily available technology. However, data from the UK Cards Association suggests that fraud levels are low, with only £153,000 of losses in total spending of £2.32 billion in 2014.

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