Contactless payments 'on the rise'

The Oxford Times: Barclays says the number of contactless payments has trebled since 2012 Barclays says the number of contactless payments has trebled since 2012

Britain is going contactless when it comes to making payments, according to new research published today.

Barclays, the banking group, found the number of contactless payments has trebled since 2012, with more than 90 million transactions to be carried out this year alone.

The findings come less than a week after a separate report found the number of bank payments being carried out on mobile has doubled in a year. The report, led by the British Bankers' Association, found that the number of payments delivered via mobile had risen from nine million to more than 18 million over a 12-month period.

The advances in technology have driven this rise, with Barclays introducing their contactless payment card to all customers in 2009, through Barclaycard. The findings today showed that since the launch more than nine million users have signed up, with 80 million transactions carried out over that five-year period.

Tami Hargreaves, the head of contactless at Barclaycard said; "Shoppers across the UK have taken contactless to their hearts since we first introduced OnePulse in 2007 and are now making 400,000 contactless transactions every single day, with Barclaycard customers alone spending £6.6m contactlessly every month."

In the last year, the total value of contactless transactions has trebled from £100m to more than £300m.

As part of the research, Barclays looked at potential future trends, and according to their findings if the current rate of adoption continues, the amount processed through contactless payments will be more than half a billion pounds by the end of 2014.

This is still a long way short of the total spending on credit and debit cards, with the figure at more than £400 billion according to a report by the UK Card Association in 2010.

Digital payments continue to become a more popular way of carrying out transactions however, with Hull City Council announcing this week that the city is looking at using a version of the virtual currency Bitcoin as a way of helping those on low incomes. The scheme would involve paying those who do volunteer work in the currency, which could then be used to pay rent or council tax.

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