Contactless has shaken off its novelty tag and is surging towards the mainstream according to Worldpay, which today announced it processed over £1bn payments using the technology in the last three years.
Data from the UK’s leading payment processing company shows the number of contactless transactions rose by more than 150% in the last six months (6.65m contactless transactions processed in April 2014 versus 16.69m in October 2014). Total transaction volumes using contactless have increased by 1591% in the past two years.
London is setting the pace with just short of half of all contactless transactions taking place within the M25. Other cities are catching up fast however, with contactless transactions increasing by an incredible 286.6% in Bristol and 223.3% in Bournemouth between 2013 and 2014.
Having helped over 70 major retailers go contactless in the past year, Worldpay claims consumer demand for speed and convenience is fuelling a technological arms race among businesses who regularly take payments of £20 or less.
Supermarkets dominate the ‘tap and go’ payments market, accounting for 44% of all contactless transactions. Fast food outlets have also taken to contactless in significant number, processing a quarter (24%) of all transactions, while Worldpay data shows the technology is increasingly being deployed in pubs, restaurants, pharmacies and newsagents.
Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay UK, said: “Contactless is really a no-brainer for businesses that process a significant number of low-value transactions. It keeps customers happy by making their lives easy, and it helps staff make as many sales as possible during peak times.
“While this is still a relatively new market with just 18% of Brits claiming to possess a contactless card that they use regularly, it is phenomenal how quickly the technology is moving from nice to have to a must in sectors like hospitality, food, entertainment and retail. Any retailer still on the side-lines is going to end up a step behind their competitors and missing out on ‘tap and go’ trade.”