The UK's increasing willingness to use contactless cards when making payments shows no signs of abating.

According to one of the largest payment processing companies in the UK, London is the hot spot, accounting for 38% of this type of transaction, followed by the south-east of England (12%) and East Anglia (10%).

Worldpay, which conducted the research, said the number of contactless transactions it has processed rose by more than 49% over the last six months, with 16.33 million recorded in November 2014 compared to 24.4 million in April 2015.

The company said it has now processed more than £2 billion worth of contactless payments since January 2012, with the rate of usage jumping considerably since October 2014 when it reached the £1 billion milestone.

Dave Hobday, UK managing director of Worldpay, commented: "Once seen as a 'nice to have', contactless is now an essential payment method for increasing numbers of businesses in the retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors.

"The slow movers have seen all the benefits it brings their competitors and now fear missing out on vital sales to their savvier, technologically advanced rivals."

Supermarkets and other food retailers have been leading the charge in the adoption of contactless with 46% of all contactless transactions now taking place in their stores, according to Worldpay.

Some 38% took take place in bars, coffee shops and takeaway restaurants.

These statistics come a week after the Payments Council reported that non-cash payments overtook cash payments for the first time in 2014, with debit, credit and other cashless methods accounting for 52% of all transactions made by consumers, businesses and financial organisations.

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Worldpay UK

Payments Council