UK Finance has published the latest contactless usage figures as contactless technology hits its 10th anniversary. The first contactless cards in the UK were launched in September 2007, with 111 million in issue in June 2017. During the first half of this year, the amount spent using contactless technology (£23.23 billion) almost matched the amount spent in 2016 (£25 billion).

  • The most popular places for using contactless cards are supermarkets, off-licences, and other food and drink retailers, accounting for 45% of contactless spending;
  • Restaurants, fast food establishments, pubs and coffee shops were also popular with consumers paying with contactless;
  • As well as retail, new uses for contactless include donation points to be used by charities and ongoing rollouts of contactless ticketing on public transport across the country.

Richard Koch, Head of Cards at UK Finance, said: “Contactless has revolutionised the way consumers pay and is increasingly being used instead of cash for transactions under £30. “With a generation of customers now used to the convenience of paying with contactless, we are confident that the places you can use it will continue to grow, with usage predicted to increase four-fold in the next 10 years.”

Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at Transport for London, said: “Contactless payments have completely transformed how people pay for travel in London.  We’ve now seen more than one billion journeys made using contactless payment cards and on average two million journeys are made every day. Transport has led the way on contactless and become the catalyst for the use of this new payment method. The benefits to customers have been immeasurable and many world cities are now looking to adopt similar payment systems on their transport network.”