Contactless Payments Set to Surge Across the UK

By Guest Author  |  Posted 2016-05-27 Print this article Print
contactless pay

The recent Android Pay launch spurs the awareness of contactless payments in the UK to a new high.

By Michael Moore

The adoption of widespread usage of contactless payments in the United Kingdom is set to continue growing as more and more consumers become aware of its benefits, new research has shown.

Research from MasterCard has found that one in 20 people are using contactless technology via their smartphone, wearable or enabled payments card once a week or more.

And overall, one-quarter of British consumers said that they intend to use their mobile to make contactless payments in the next 12 months.

MasterCard is hoping that the recent launch of Android Pay is also going to spur on adoption of contactless technology in the United Kingdom, opening up the huge customer base that owns a device running on Google's mobile operating system.

Having already worked with Bank of Scotland, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, MBNA and M&S Bank to enable their cards for use, MasterCard is now hoping that successful use cases such as London's TfL service help to promote the technology.

"We have built the secure foundations for these payments across our network," said Elliott Goldenberg, head of digital payments at MasterCard UK & Ireland.

"Mobile phones offer people the means to make contactless payments over £30 because the user can be verified, for example by means of their fingerprint. The other key difference is the use of digital tokens—in short, your card details aren't passed onto the retailer because they are not stored on the phone in the first place. As consumers increasingly recognize these benefits, mobile payments will begin to see the kind of growth that contactless has had over the last two years."

Recent research from industry body The Payments Association revealed earlier this week show that card payments will become more popular than cash in the United Kingdom within five years, thanks largely to the popularity of contactless transactions.

By 2021, card payments are predicted to reach 14.5 billion, overtaking the forecast 13.0 billion cash payments for the first time. And by 2025, notes and coins will drop to being used for just over one in four (27 percent) of payments, the report claimed.

Recent figures from Visa Europe found British consumers are the biggest users of contactless payments in Europe, making more than 153 million contactless transactions in the 12 months leading up to April 2016.

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