UK contactless payment spending grows five-fold in a year

MasterCard has reported that payments made by UK consumers using its contactless cards have grown by 560% in value over the last 12 months.

The payments company said it marks an acceleration in the adoption of the technology, following a 373% increase in the year to July 2014. Meanwhile, the volume of contactless card transactions made with MasterCard has reportedly quadrupled since last summer.

News of the rise of contactless transactions comes after similar announcements from Visa, which suggested this form of payment is a growing trend across Europe with the UK leading the way in terms of the number of contactless cards issued. The UK 'tap & go' limit for transactions on all contactless payments cards is also set to increase from £20 to £30 on 1 September, while the recent launch of Apple Pay and the imminent UK arrival of Samsung Pay is expected to further drive frictionless transactions nationwide.

Mark Barnett, president of MasterCard UK & Ireland, said: "The pace of growth we are seeing in contactless is getting ever faster as we rely less and less on cash.

"Consumers enjoy the speed and convenience of tapping to pay. We expect this upward trend to persist with consumers continuing to migrate to contactless card payments and increasingly to mobile payments, as we work with partners such as Apple to enable more convenient ways to pay."

MasterCard's data would suggest that consumers are becoming increasingly confident about using their contactless cards, with figures showing the average contactless purchase by MasterCard customers has risen from £4.52 in 2012, to £7.29 in July 2015 alone.

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