Scots blazing a trail for contactless payments

Richard Koch
Richard Koch

Glasgow and Edinburgh two of UK cities leading the way in the rise of contactless payments, according to new data.

Scotland’s two biggest cities were joined at the top of the contactless spending table by Manchester and Cardiff compiled following research carried out by Barclaycard which also revealed that contactless transactions made by people aged over 60 have more than doubled over the past year.

The news comes as the UK Cards Association also released figures showing contactless payments have more than trebled in the past year.

The data showed the value of payments made using the method in March was up from the £431.1 million registered in the same month last year to reach a record £1.5 billion for the first time.

The milestone comes just four months after contactless spending hit £1 billion, in November 2015.

The £0.5 billion mark came in May last year.

One in seven of all card transactions are now contactless, compared to one in 16 a year ago. There were a total of 179.6 million contactless purchases in March, with 67 made every second. On the high street, one in six card purchases is now contactless.

Monthly contactless spending has more than trebled in the past year, up from £431.1 million in March 2015. There are a total of 86.5 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK.

Overall, total payment card spending was £51.9 billion in March, with 1.18 billion transactions in the month.

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said: “It took almost eight years for monthly contactless spending to reach half a billion pounds - now it’s grown by the same amount in just four months. This dramatic rise shows that paying with contactless is now second nature for millions of consumers who see it as an alternative to cash.

“Contactless cards are already being used to pay for travel and to donate to charity and as the technology evolves, we will see even more environments where contactless will enable fast, easy and secure payments.”

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