The amount spent by Barclaycard customers using contactless technology in the UK has multiplied 2.7 times so far this year, with usage increasing 173% by value and 112% by volume, the latest Barclaycard Contactless Spending Index reveals.
While the average credit or debit card customer is spending £28 (US$36.93) a week using contactless, those using Barclaycard’s Contactless Mobile host card emulation (HCE) based service are spending £24 (US$31.65) over the same period. Wearable devices equipped with bPay Loop are being used by customers to spend £20 (US$26.38) a week.
The take-up of contactless transactions is highest among Britain’s silver spenders (those aged over 60) with the number using the technology up 114% more than any other age group, totalling more users than people aged 18-25.
Men and women are adopting contactless in equal measure, with usage rising 67% for both since the limit increased from £20 to £30 (US$26.38-US$39.57) in September last year. The average amount Barclaycard customers spend in each single transaction has also jumped, rising 29% from £6.77 to £8.70 (US$8.93-US$11.47).
Discount stores are witnessing the biggest increase in contactless payments with a 736% rise, followed by hardware stores (557%), service stations (210%), drinking places (209%), gift card and novelty shops (197%), hotels, motels and resorts (196%), supermarkets (122%), clubs (114%), beer, wine and liquor shops (108%) and department stores (107%).
In terms of regional usage, London remains ahead of the rest of the country with almost 39% of all card transactions of £30 and under now paid with contactless.
Glasgow has seen the biggest climb in contactless usage with 291% so far this year compared to 2015, followed by Blackpool with 288%, Edinburgh (269%), Cardiff (263%), Hull (261%), Newcastle (258%), Birmingham (247%), Liverpool (245%), Northampton (242%) and Oxford with 227%. London saw a rise of 116%.
“The £30 spending threshold has increased the popularity of contactless payments amongst both existing and new users, both of whom are now using it more frequently and for higher amounts,” says Tami Hargreaves, commercial director of digital consumer payments at Barclaycard.
“Retailers are also responding quickly to consumer demand and updating their payment terminals to accept contactless, or even setting up payment technology for the first time. Contactless can now be used at over 400,000 locations across the country and, with the number set to increase further by the end of 2016, we’re heading for another record breaking year for touch and go spending.”
The research comes as industry body The UK Cards Association reveals that contactless spending reached a record high in the first six months of 2016, with consumers spending £9.27bn (US$12.23bn) between January and June, compared to £7.75bn (US$10.22bn) for the whole of 2015.