Heading into a contactless world for payments

As Barclays celebrates five years of contactless payments on debit cards, latest figures show that we are heading into a contactless world, with Brits now choosing to use contactless three times more than they did in 2012.

Barclays and Barclaycard launched contactless cards to all their customers in March 2009 and there are now nearly 9 million Barclays contactless debit cards and 9.5m contactless Barclaycards in wallets across the UK, with customers having made nearly 80 million contactless transactions in just five years.

The number of contactless transactions made by customers in the UK last year rose to just over 45 million, from 15 million in 2012, with the total value of contactless transactions trebling from £100 million to over £300 million in the same period.

Increasingly popular

As contactless payments are increasingly becoming the norm in society, both Barclays and Barclaycard are seeing record increases in the number of transactions being made and the amount being spent.

Last month, customers made 5.3 million contactless payments – a 230 per cent increase on February 2013. If that trend continues, we could see the total number of contactless transactions made by customers this year double to 90 million.

By the end of 2014, customers are expected to spend £580 million through contactless transactions, a 93 per cent rise on the £300 million spent last year.

Contactless retailers drive consumer adoption

The number of contactless terminals installed across the UK is also growing as more and more retailers see the benefits, convenience and extra control that accepting contactless payments brings. Barclaycard has helped drive much of this adoption by rolling out three-quarters of the UK’s 300,000 contactless-enabled terminals, and processing nearly 50% of all contactless transactions that now take place.

Catherine McGrath, Managing Director, UK Retail Bank, Barclays said: “With over 18 million Barclays and Barclaycard branded contactless cards in the UK, we are well and truly becoming a nation that is embracing contactless technology as it becomes increasingly accessible.

“As the first bank in the UK to launch contactless cards, Barclays strives to be at the forefront of this technology and we are constantly looking for new ways to improve and innovate our contactless offerings to give our customers the most secure and very best service possible.”

Tami Hargreaves, head of contactless at Barclaycard said: “Shoppers across the UK have taken contactless to their hearts since we first introduced OnePulse in 2007 and are now making 400,000 contactless transactions every single day, with Barclaycard customers alone spending £6.6m contactlessly every month.

“With over 300,000 contactless-enabled payment terminals across the UK, it’s easier than ever to pay for your supermarket shopping, morning coffee or bus journey across the capital. And we’re working closely with retailers across the country to make contactless even more widely available this year and paying easier and simpler.”