The rise of contactless payments has risen considerably in the UK over the last few years and this trend is only set to continue. Contactless cards were originally introduced to the UK a decade ago, and the British public were initially slow to embrace the technology.

Over the last 10 years contactless cards have gone from a niche offering to becoming the first choice payment in various situations. Customers and businesses have embraced the efficiency and accessibility of contactless technology, with many using it on a daily basis from paying for items at a local convenience store to paying for journeys on public transport. Contactless technology and contactless payments have completely transformed how commuters pay for their travel in London.  More than one billion journeys have been made using contactless payment cards and on average two million journeys are made every day. The benefits this has given customers have been tremendous, and many other countries are now looking to replicate and adopt similar payment infrastructures on their transport network. It’s safe to say it really has set a president.

The number of contactless cards in the UK currently stands at 112 million. This comprises of 75 million debit cards and 37 million credit cards. The number of card machines accepting contactless cards has also grown rapidly in recent years. June 2017 saw there were just over half a million acquirer owned contactless enabled machines in circulation.

Contactless technology has reached into almost every aspect of our lives here in the UK. Back in December last year (2016), it was reported that almost 50% of Britons now opt to pay by contactless payments at least once a month, while one in five planning to increase their usage this year in 2017. The figures relate to payments handled by Barclaycard, which processes £1 of every £3 spent using payment cards in the UK.

Last year saw supermarkets and off licenses as the most popular place for contactless use, accounting for just over 40% of all contactless purchases with an average transaction value (ATV) of £9.70. This was mainly driven by extensive contactless acceptance at most British supermarkets, where 91% of food and drink contactless purchases were made.

The next most popular sector for contactless payments was the entertainment sector representing almost 30% of contactless purchases by volume, with an ATV of £8. Most contactless activity in this sector was in restaurants, bars, coffee shops and fast food establishments which accounted for 90% of all contactless payments.

By 2018, 13.4 billion debit card payments are predicted – of which around one in three are expected to be contactless. Does your business currently accept contactless enabled technology? How has the revolution of contactless payments transformed your business or the way your customers are able to shop and pay for goods? As ever we’d love to know your thoughts on the matter. Please comment below or contact us on the usual numbers.