90% of card payments were contactless in 2020

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Contactless payments accounted for nearly 90 per cent of all face-to-face card transactions last year, largely driven by the rise in spending limits to £45.

Barclaycard’s latest data has revealed that 88.6 per cent of all “eligible card transactions”, defined as face-to-face instore transactions made with a card up to the value of the contactless limit, were made contactlessly throughout 2020.

The total value of contactless payments rose by seven per cent throughout the year despite non-essential retail remaining shut through successive lockdowns.

While the total volume of contactless payments fell by 11.8 per cent due to the sharp drop in physical shopping throughout the year, the average value of contactless transactions jumped 29 per cent to £12.38.

READ MORE: Tesco’s Pay+ app surpasses £1 billion in transactions as contactless payment methods skyrocket

This higher average transaction value driven by the increase in how much people could spend in one go, rising from £30 to £45 in April across the UK.

“We are proud to be playing our part in helping to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and we are delighted to see that even more Brits are relying on contactless to make in-store payments,” Barclaycard’s head of consumer products Raheel Ahmed said.

“We believe that contactless is the safer, faster and most responsible way to pay in store, and we encourage all consumers to take advantage of it wherever possible.”

The average contactless user made 141 transactions last year, worth a total of £1640, while the over 65s were the most likely to embrace the technology for the first time.

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