UK contactless payments up 49pc to 24.4m in six months

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This has resulted in growth of nearly 1,000 per cent over the past two years as retailers continue to adopt the technology in their stores

The number of contactless transactions in the UK rose by more than 49 per cent in the last six months, resulting in growth of 964 per cent over the past two years.

This is according to data from payment processing company Worldpay, which said 24.4 million contactless transactions were made to April 2015 versus 16.33 million in the same period to November 2014.

Worldpay, which handled 44 per cent of all cart payments in the UK last year and processed over 10.7 billion transactions across the world, has processed more than £2 billion of contactless payments since January 2012 and £1 billion since October 2014.

London is still the leading city for this technology, accounting for more than a third (38 per cent) oif all transactions, with the South East trailing with 12 per cent.

Supermarkets and other food retailers are leading the charge in the adoption of it with nearly half (46 per cent) of all contactless transactions now taking place in their stores. The hospitality sector (bars, cafes and takeaways) account for 38 per cent.

The firm has helped over 380 UK retailers to take contactless payments in the last three years. It is also upgrading 75,000 terminals at existing customers to help them prepare for the increase to £30 in the spending limit for contactless cards, which comes into force in September.

Worldpay UK managing director Dave Hobday said: “Once seen as a ‘nice to have’, contactless is now an essential payment method for increasing numbers of businesses in the retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors. The slow movers have seen all the benefits it brings their competitors and now fear missing out on vital sales to their savvier, technologically advanced rivals.”

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