91% of card payments contactless in 2023

A record 91 per cent of all card transactions were contactless last year, according to data from Barclays.

During the 12-month period, the total value of UK contactless payments increased by.

Based on data complied from billions of debit and credit card transactions, Barclays said that on average contactless users made 220 ‘touch and go’ payments in 2023, worth £3,327 per person.

The figures show that while all sectors saw an increase in the value of contactless payments, spending more than doubled in hotels, resorts and accommodation, while there was almost 98 per cent growth in electronics; a 92 per cent increase in bars, pubs and clubs; an hike of around 83 per cent for clothing; and a rise of just over 90 per cent for restaurants.

Meanwhile, mobile contactless payments above £100 increased by 109 per cent – accounting for four per cent of all contactless transactions by value.

Northern Ireland and Scotland were identified as the fastest growing regions for contactless usage.

"The higher £100 limit, introduced at the end of 2021, really made its mark as shoppers flooded back to High Streets following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, leading to a surge in transactions," said Adam Lishman, head of consumer products, Barclays. "Brits are also becoming more comfortable making high-value contactless payments from their mobile, with these transactions accounting for an even greater share of total contactless spend."

Lishman added that with improvements to mobile technology, in the short term it will be unlikely to see another payment method competing with contactless.

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