Changing the way we pay – contactless celebrates 10 years

To coincide with the 10th anniversary of the UK’s launch of contactless technology, UK Finance has published the latest usage figures.

The first contactless cards in the UK were launched in September 2007, with 111 million in issue in June 2017. During the first half of this year the amount spent using contactless technology (£23.23 billion) almost matched the amount spent in 2016 (£25 billion).

  • The most popular places for using contactless cards are supermarkets, off-licences and other food and drink retailers, accounting for 45% of contactless spending;
  • Restaurants, fast food establishments, pubs and coffee shops were also popular with consumers paying with contactless;
  • As well as retail, new uses for contactless include donation points to be used by charities and ongoing rollouts of contactless ticketing on public transport across the country.
  • The number of contactless cards in issue increased by 26% in 2016, with 111 million contactless cards in issue as of June 2017;
  • Contactless usage is expected to increase four-fold by 2026.

“Contactless has revolutionised the way consumers pay, and is increasingly being used instead of cash for transactions under £30,” said Richard Koch, Head of Cards at UK Finance. “With a generation of customers now used to the convenience of paying with contactless we are confident that the places you can use it will continue to grow, with usage predicted to increase four-fold in the next 10 years.”

“Contactless payments have completely transformed how people pay for travel in London.  We’ve now seen more than one billion journeys made using contactless payment cards and on average two million journeys are made every day. Transport has led the way on contactless and become the catalyst for the use of this new payment method. The benefits to customers have been immeasurable and many world cities are now looking to adopt similar payment systems on their transport network,” commented Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at Transport for London.

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Categories: Contactless Payments

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