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August 23, 2016

Surge in popularity sees record £9bn spent on contactless cards

News: UK Cards Association data reveals that contactless payments accounted for 18 percent of total spending.

By Alexander Sword

Contactless spending for the year so far has already surpassed the 2015 total.

UK Cards Association data shows that £9.27 billion was spent on contactless methods between January and June 2016.

With six months of the year left to go, the figure had already outstripped the 2015 figure of £7.75 billion.

The number of individual transactions had also increased considerably, from 1.05 billion in 2015 to 1.1 billion in the first six months of 2016.

This suggests that the total contactless spending for 2016 is on course to be well over double that in 2015, possibly approaching triple, especially if further growth is seen in the second half of the year.

For June 2016 figures show that contactless payments accounted for 18 percent of total spending, up from 7 percent in June 2015.

The explosion of consumer interest in contactless has come alongside advances in technology and legislation that have facilitated greater use.

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In September, the limit for contactless payments in the UK increased to £30 in a move that was estimated to affect around 3 million transactions a day.

These developments have not been limited to the card industry. There has also been growth in the usage of smartphone payments systems.

Summer 2015 saw the launch of Apple Pay, while Android Pay was made available in the UK in May 2016.

There are also further developments expected in the future, with wearables expected to increase contactless usage.

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

“Contactless cards are firmly entrenched as the preferred way to pay for millions of consumers, who expect to be able to use them for everyday purchases.

“We anticipate the use of contactless cards will continue to increase, particularly as charities and transport operators outside London recognise the benefits this technology can bring.”

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