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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : January 27, 2016

Contactless payments the 'new normal' in UK

Might the U.K. become a cashless society within the next few years? At the rate of growth of contactless payments witnessed in 2015 by payment products provider Visa that answer could well be 'yes'.

by Helen Leggatt

Visa reports that the number of people purchasing items using contactless payment methods now accounts for 1-in-7 face-to-face Visa transactions in the UK, up from just 1-in-25 a year ago. That's a significant rise of 250%, demonstrating the populations' increasing comfort levels with the payment method.

Overall, more payments in the U.K. were made electronically than with cash for the first time last year. Visa Europe saw point-of-sale spend rise 9.6% and more than £1 in every £3 spent in the country is now on a Visa card.

Visa UK and Ireland managing director Kevin Jenkins believes that, in the U.K., contactless payments have become the "new normal". Nearly half a million terminals across the UK now support contactless and mobile payments.

"The UK has always been a global-pace setter for payments. The accelerated shift to electronic payments is shaping the future of commerce, bringing tangible benefits to retailers enabling them to grow their businesses and to consumers by enabling them to pay where and when they choose, and on any device," said Jenkins.

In the country's capital, every day, more than one million Visa contactless transactions take place on Transport for London's network. Outside of the capital city, supermarkets dominate.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: finance, mobile, payments

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