UK contactless payments hit new highs

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Worldpay has hit more than 100 million contactless payments, marking a major milestone for UK businesses as increasing numbers of consumers continue to reject cash in favour of cards.

With organisations such as Transport for London going cashless and the much-anticipated

The contactless payments logo
Contactless payments on the rise

iPhone 6 enabling contactless payments, consumer confidence in Near Field Communications (NFC) technology is rapidly increasing.

Worldpay data shows that contactless payments more than doubled (174%) between July 2013 and July 2014 (from a total of 4 million UK payments processed by Worldpay in July 2013 to 10.9 million payments in July 2014).

Worldpay has also witnessed a significant month-on-month increase in the size of contactless payments since the start of the year. In June 2014 alone it processed £71.6 million via contactless, breaking its previous record.

London remains the UK’s “cashless capital”, accounting for more than 42.1% of Worldpay’s contactless transactions from January 2012 to date. However, the contactless trend is taking off more quickly in coastal cities than anywhere else, with the number of contactless transactions increasing by a whopping 286.6% in Bristol and 223.3% in Bournemouth between 2013 and 2014.

The average size of a contactless payment is also increasing as consumers become more familiar with NFC technology. Over the last two and a half years, London has seen an increase of 17% in the average contactless sale size, whilst Manchester and Birmingham has seen an increase of 20.8% and 14.1% respectively[1].

Businesses which benefit most from the speedy service offered by contactless payments have seen the greatest uptake, with 60% of transactions in 2014 processed at supermarkets and grocery stores. The retail sector[2] accounted for 51% of Worldpay’s contactless transactions in 2014, while 48% of transactions were processed at pubs and restaurants. Worldpay helped over 70 large retailers in the UK move to contactless last year.

“We’ve reached a major milestone with Brits not only swiping their cards more frequently but also increasing their average contactless spend,” comments Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay UK. “Not all retailers are likely to jump on the bandwagon at once, however they definitely need to wake up to the fact that consumers are getting savvier and cashless is the way forward.”

Research by Worldpay[3] reveals that 71% of shoppers agreed that contactless is easier than Chip and PIN, with 18% of Brits possessing a contactless card and using it regularly.



[1] Worldpay transactional data from January 2012-August 2014.

[2] Including department stores, mixed retail and specialty shops.

[3] Survey of 1999 UK consumers conducted by TNS Research in March 2014 on behalf of Worldpay.

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