Go contactless or risk losing customers, warns Worldpay as tap and pay transactions reach £4bn


 Retailers not offering contactless payment options are in danger of being ‘left behind’ according to Worldpay, which has seen the popularity of ‘tap and go’ payments skyrocket over the past 12 months in the UK.

Data from the payments processor, released today, shows that the number of UK contactless transactions processed by them rose by 160% in 2015, with monthly payments using the technology peaking at 45 million. Worldpay has now processed over £4bn in contactless transactions since 2012.

Worldpay claims the ability to pay using contactless is becoming an expectation in traditionally fast-paced retail environments where speed and convenience can be a deciding factor in terms of where consumers spend their money. Sectors leading the charge include:

–          Food and drink outlets (pubs, bars, restaurants) – 48% of total UK contactless transactions

–          Entertainment venues (cinemas, theatres) – 31%  of total UK contactless transactions

Dave Hobday, UK managing director of Worldpay, said: “The UK has been a trailblazer for contactless adoption, and we’re seeing that play out today as the technology plants itself firmly in the mainstream. Raising the limit on contactless to £30 opened the floodgates by broadening the opportunities for consumers to use the technology, but it’s far from the end of the story.

“Contactless cards may have paved the way for the enormous surge in tap and go payments we’re seeing today, but the next 12 months will be defined by how consumers take to paying for goods on their smartphones – especially with features such as High Value Contactless.”

In 2020 new regulations will come in to force requiring all card terminals in the UK to be contactless enabled, however Hobday warned retailers against delaying integration of the technology. He continued: “These numbers show how contactless has moved from novelty to normal in little more than 4 years – retailers still on the side-lines without a strategy to accommodate this technology could be left in the dust and risk of driving loyal customers away.”