Home Money How 93.4% of all shop transactions are now contactless

How 93.4% of all shop transactions are now contactless

by Elijah
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Convenient: 93% of all in-store card purchases up to £100 were made contactless for ease and convenience.
  • New report shows 80% of people aged 85 to 95 will pay contactless by 2023
  • 93% of in-store card payments up to £100 were contactless by 2023



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Data suggests that more people over 65 than ever are using contactless payments.

Today, 80 per cent of people aged 85 to 95 pay contactless, a new report from Barclaycard shows.

For the third year in a row, the fastest growth in contactless use was among people 65 and older.

A record 93.4 per cent of all in-store card transactions of up to £100 were made via tap and pay in 2023, cementing it as the UK’s most popular payment method.

Convenient: 93% of all in-store card purchases up to £100 were made contactless for ease and convenience.

Convenient: 93% of all in-store card purchases up to £100 were made contactless for ease and convenience.

Customers also spend more on average, the report shows.

Average spend per customer last year was £3,623, up 8.9 per cent year on year, as customers bought more expensive items more frequently. The average purchase cost £15.69, up 3.8 per cent on last year.

When it comes to payments over £100, chip and pin is the preferred form of payment across all age demographics, followed by cash.

Younger customers prefer to use mobile payments and a quarter of people aged 18 to 34 prefer to use their phone.

Mobile payments have no upper limit for contactless payments using two-factor authentication.

In contrast, only 3 percent of people over 75 prefer mobile payment to using a physical card.

Some younger shoppers now choose not to carry their card when leaving home.

More than one in five people aged 18 to 34 regularly leave their wallet behind when shopping and prefer to pay with their smartphone.

A knock-on effect of the increased use of contactless payments is that almost a fifth of Britons admit they also have trouble remembering their PIN when asked.

Automotive was the category that saw the largest increase in contactless payments in 2023, up 28.8 percent from 2022, followed by electronics, which saw a 19.9 percent increase in contactless spending growth in 2023 compared to 2022.

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Category Contactless spending growth in 2023 vs. 2022
Retail 9.7%
Clothes 6.2%
Grocery 10.4%
Food and beverage specialist 9.3%
supermarkets 10.6%
Familiar 11.1%
electronics 19.8%
Furniture stores 11.5%
Home improvement and DIY 9.9%
General Retailers 8.9%
General Retailers and Catalogs 18.4%
Department store 9.9%
discount stores 2.1%
Specialty retailers 8.4%
Pharmacy, Health and Beauty 9.2%
Sports and outdoor activities 7.2%
Other specialty retailers 7.8%
Hospitality and Leisure 11.5%
Eat and drink 10.3%
Bars, pubs and nightclubs 8.9%
Restaurants -2.9%
Takeaway and fast food 14.9%
Other food and drink 11.5%
Entertainment 12.1%
Hotels, resorts and accommodation 17.6%
Travel 16.3%
Public transport 11.4%
Other trips 19.4%
Other 9.8%
Fuel 14.6%
Motoring 28.8%
Other services 21.9%
Source: Barclaycard Contactless Trends Report 2024

Barclays launched the UK’s first contactless card, the ‘Barclaycard OnePulse’, in September 2007.

At the time, the spending limit per payment was just £10. It was first rolled out to around 22,000 TfL network payment terminals and around 6,000 retailers.

The first retailers to embrace contactless technology were cafes and fast food outlets, including EAT and Pret A Manger.

In 2013, annual contactless transactions reached £1 billion for the first time and further expansion occurred the following year when TfL began accepting contactless cards at station barriers, allowing customers to skip the queues at ticket machines.

Ten years after its launch, in 2017, three in five Britons chose to pay contactless, representing a total spend of £60 billion.

In 2020, 88.6 per cent of all eligible payments in the UK were made contactless, with adoption boosted by Covid restrictions and the contactless limit rising from £30 to £45.

Karen Johnson, head of retail at Barclays, said: “Since we rolled out contactless payments in the UK in 2007, it has firmly established itself as the UK’s favorite payment method, thanks to its speed and convenience.

“In 2024, we expect to see a greater shift toward mobile wallet payments as more brick-and-mortar businesses integrate the technology into their customer experience.”

money" data-version="2" id="mol-0e699380-d4a0-11ee-9831-7b1cf0da024a" data-permabox-url="https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-13126545/How-93-4-shop-transactions-contactless.html"> Contactless payments: a history

2007: Barclays launches the Barclaycard OnePulse card. The UK’s first contactless card. Spending limit per transaction is initially set at £10

2010: Contactless payment limit increases from £10 to £15

2011: First mobile payment device arrives in the UK, allowing users to make payments by tapping their phone on a contactless payment reader

2012: Contactless payment limit increases from £15 to £20. Barclays introduces PayBand, the UK’s first wearable payment device

2013: Annual contactless transactions hit £1bn for the first time

2014: Barclays is working with TfL on the second phase of introducing contactless technology into London’s travel network by helping to evolve yellow Oyster card readers to enable contactless card reading.

2015: Spending limit per transaction increases from £20 to £30. Barclaycard creates the country’s first fashionable portable payment devices.

2020: UK contactless limit rises from £45

2021: UK contactless limit rises to £100 on October 15

2022: Contactless spending rises 49.7 per cent as Brits adopt £100 limit

2023: More than 80 percent of people between 85 and 95 now pay with contactless technology

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