Five-fold Increase in UK Contactless Payments according to Visa Europe

 Thursday, 29 August 2013

 Prepaid News

Contactless payment, Visa wavepay, RFID payments

During the course of the last 12 months consumers in the UK have made some 51 million contactless purchases totaling £338 million according to Visa Europe, which is a five-fold increase on the year before.

There are now 28 million contactless Visa credit, debit and prepaid cards across the UK, allowing users to make purchases of under £20, without having to give their PIN, by simply touching their card at a payment terminal. The average transaction value through this payment method is £6.65 but is expected to rise as consumers continue to demonstrate a greater confidence and as more cards and contactless enabled terminals enter the market.

Visa attribute much of the increase in growth of contactless payments to their advertising campaign during last year’s London Olympics, which prominently featured track star and World’s fastest man Usain Bolt. However, it’s far more likely that the increase in both number and type of retails now accepting contactless payments, including M&S, McDonalds, Pret A Manger, Boots, Co-Op, WHSmith, and Starbucks, is the primary factor driving the growth of such payments.

“A year ago we launched the Contactless 2012 campaign to raise public awareness of contactless technology and the convenience and flexibility it brings to day to day payments," said Mark Austin, Head of Contactless at Visa Europe.

"We are delighted to see the technology now being used so frequently on the high street as consumers become confident in making every day contactless payments and we’re excited about the number of new shops due to roll out contactless payment in the remainder of 2013.”

The success of this type of payment has occurred off the back of already established contactless payment methods, such as the Oyster card on London transport, which has worked to get consumers used to this method of paying for small purchases. Although, with 3 million journeys being paid for directly with contactless Visa cards over the past 12 months, these contactless enabled credit/debit/prepaid Visa cards could be set to replace the Oyster card in coming years.