Cashless payments on the rise: the UK generated over £94 trillion with contactless payments

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In 2018, after years of card payments slowly weighing in on the dominance of cash transactions, cashless has now overtaken as the most popular method of payment. Last year saw a 15% drop in notes and coins used, and strengthened by the growing popularity of contactless cards, cashless payments now reign supreme.

Merchant account and card payment fee comparison service Merchant Machine have carried out a study to look at the extent of these economic changes to find its true value in the world we live in. The research uncovers the impact cashlessness has had on specific industries, personal spending and how much different countries have adopted the payment method. Some of the key findings are outlined below:

Cashless Countries

Revenue from cashless payments has become hugely significant for a number of nations across Europe, but who is yielding the most in recent years? Below are the EU countries with the highest revenue from card payments.

  • Power of the Pound – With an astounding €106.7 trillion revenue in 2017, the United Kingdom are far and away the leading nation for cashless payments across Europe.
  • Revenue Generating Germany – Ranking 2nd in our study of cashless revenue is Germany with €55.8 trillion last year alone.
  • Frivolous France – Another nation proving themselves to be tech-savvy and spend-happy are the French, who gathered a €27.2 trillion in cashless payments last year.

Big in the Industry

Contactless forms of payment have created a new level of convenience for people around the world, and this has provided a real boost for certain industries. Below are some of the biggest winners:

  • Cashless Clothing – Last year, the use of contactless payments to purchase clothing skyrocketed a huge 321% from the year before, topping all other key business types.
  • Parking Payments – The inconvenience of having to pay for parking has been improved somewhat by the ease of payment, with 132% more transactions last year than previous.
  • Public Transport Perks – Another business reaping the benefits of technology is public transport, where 91% of all payments are contactless.

Home and Away

In years gone by, using a card on foreign shores would be a frightening prospect for many, but in 2018, it appears that is no longer the case. Our study has traced the value of cashless payments back to 2006, and show how people have started to adopt card payments abroad and on home soil.

  • Global Spenders – In 2006, the revenue from international cashless transactions was estimated at around £4.9 billion, and has increased eightfold and now sits at £40.4 billion
  • Card Happy – The average monthly spend on card for individuals was £422 last year, a 78% increase from 2006.
  • Foreign Transactions – Until 2011, the average international monthly spend on card was under £10, but now stands at £34

Ian Wright from Merchant Machine stated that: ‘The popularity and preference towards cashless payments appears evergrowing. While so many are aware of the decline of cash usage and increase in card transactions, but this study helps to break down where these changes are most felt.’