50% of all UK card payments are now contactless


Contactless payments accounted for half of all card payments in the UK over the month of July for the first time in history.

Card payments made during the month grew 5.7 per cent year-on-year to 1.6 billion reflecting a total spend of £60.1 billion, according to the latest figures from banking trade body UK Finance.

For the first time 50 per cent of these (766 million) were made using contactless payments as usage rose 17.8 per cent from the same period a year before, representing a total transaction value of £7.2 billion.

READ MORE: Fujitsu sees palm payments overtaking card and facial recognition for retailers

According to Which?’s Gareth Shaw this dramatic rise in usage has likely been driven by transport networks adoption of the technology, allowing commuters to pay for their journeys by tapping their card or phone rather than buying a ticket.

Despite contactless’ adoption, concerns have been raised about companies ignoring the needs of those who continue to rely on cash as their primary source of payment.

Amazon has come under fire over its roll out of “cashless” Amazon Go grocery stores as numerous states across the US ban retailers from not accepting cash.

According to US lawmakers, by not offering the option to pay with cash retailers are discriminating against those without access to a bank account or those who are not confident using digital payments.

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