Move over cash. Now it’s mobile and contactless.

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For the first time in history, cash payments are not the most popular way to pay in the UK. And it’s largely down to contactless, needless to say. But mobile payments are paying their part too.

In its 2017 annual payments survey, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed that cards payments now account for more than 50% of all British payment transactions. Mobile is up too. 38 million transactions were made in 2016 using mobile payments, accounting for £288 million spent using mobile phones. That’s a remarkable 247% increase on 2015.

Tami Hargreaves from Barclaycard says: “As we approach the tenth anniversary of ‘touch and go’ payments, it’s interesting to see just how much UK shoppers are valuing the convenience the speed and ease of contactless payments. Uptake and usage of the technology has evolved at a rapid pace, which is supported by our data which shows a significant surge in recent years.”

“With Barclaycard data revealing that more than half of eligible in-store card payments are now made using contactless technology and more innovation in the pipeline to enhance the use of mobile and wearable devices, we expect to see contactless spending go from strength to strength for the foreseeable future.”

It’s hardly a surprise: the contactless payment offering is quick and convenient to the shopper. Indeed, even from a retailer perspective, it can be quicker than cash. But how far away are we from a cashless society?



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