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One in four card payments now contactless as usage continues to rise

One in four card payments now contactless as usage continues to rise

Contactless payments are continuing to rise with one quarter of card payments now via this method, according to figures from The UK Cards Association.

325 million purchases were made using contactless debit and credit cards in November 2016, accounting for 25 per cent of all card payments in the month, compared to 11% in November 2015. The average contactless transaction in November 2016 was £8.95, up from £8.03 the previous year.

A record £2.9 billion was spent via contactless payments in November: an increase of 184 per cent from a year ago when contactless spending passed £1 billion in a month for the first time.

101.8 million contactless debit and credit cards are now in circulation in the UK. Nine in 10 (88 per cent) contactless transactions are made using a debit card, a higher proportion than for card payments overall (78 per cent).

Richard Koch, head of policy at The UK Cards Association, said:

“With 125 taps every second in the UK, it’s clear that people are opting for contactless when they are at the till. No longer is it just for the lunchtime sandwich, consumers are using their contactless cards wherever they go – for the grocery shop, in clothes stores, and, increasingly, for the commute too.”

More charities are also starting to use the technology. Last year’s Poppy Appeal saw the Royal British Legion trial contactless collection tins in branches of NatWest, while Blue Cross introduced Tap Dogs, which saw the charity fundraise using dogs wearing coats that could accept contactless donations from mobile phones. Cancer Research UK also used the technology to collect donations on World Cancer Day, allowing people to donate £2 by tapping their cards against one of 16 contactless donation terminals.


Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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