Contactless mobile transactions grow 247%

In 2016, UK shoppers used a mobile device to pay for an in-store transaction 38 million times, bringing the spend total to £288 million. Mobile contactless payments increased 247% over the last year as mobile wallet services including Apple Pay and Android Pay became more popular with consumers.

Research from Worldpay suggested supermarkets accounted for 54% of all mobile tap and pay transactions, while pubs and restaurants made up 20% of payments. Nearly 10% of mobile wallet payments took place in the pharmacy and beauty sector.

In December 2016 alone, £51 million was spent on contactless smartphones.

"Contactless cards have paved the way for rapid adoption of mobile payment systems, driving investment in infrastructure and familiarity among consumers. Today one in five of us will use the technology at least once a day, rising to a third of people in London," said James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay.

"As people get more used to paying for goods on their smartphone, mobile’s ability to bridge more effectively across online and offline retail channels will increasingly threaten the future of the traditional payment card. Already more than half of UK shoppers say they’d happily leave their wallet at home and pay for everything on their smartphone instead."

Almost a third of all transactions took place in London, while the South East accounted for 14% of total spend on contactless mobile devices. Meanwhile, East England and the North West accounted each for an 8% share of transaction processed by Worldpay.

Contactless mobile spend only takes up 1.2% of in-store payment methods, and contactless mobile and card spend now totals 28% of all non-cash transactions. 

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