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Wednesday 16 October 2019


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UK mobile payments quadruple in two years

Written by Peter Walker

New data has shown that the uptake of mobile payments such as Apple, Google and Android Pay in the UK has quadrupled over the last two years.

The Cardlytics figures are based on 190 million transactions made by 6.4 million bank customers in the UK who actively use their cards once per week, looking at all transactions during the last two years.

As a proportion of total payments, mobile transactions in the UK have jumped from 1.3 per cent in the third quarter of 2016 to 5.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2018, representing an overall increase of 331 per cent. Compared to this time last year, mobile payments have increased by 60 per cent.

In the contactless £30 range, the number of transactions accounted for by mobile payments increased from 1.8 per cent in the third quarter of 2016, to 4.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 and then seven per cent in the third quarter of 2018.

The biggest beneficiaries of growing mobile payments were quick-service merchants which have introduced contactless payment methods, including fast-food restaurants (11.3 per cent), coffee shops (11 per cent), public transport (11 per cent) and bars and pubs (9.25 per cent).

London is by far the biggest adopter of mobile pay, accounting for seven per cent of payments less than £30 and 5.7 per cent of all transactions – at least two per cent higher than any other region.

Outside of London, the East of England and the rest of the South East have been the fastest movers, with 3.3 and 3.2 per cent of all transactions respectively carried out via Apple, Google or Android pay.

Duncan Smith, commercial director at Cardlytics, said mobile payments are now making a big contribution to contactless growth, often at the expense of cash.

“Having a broader view of consumer spending in categories that were previously cash-heavy allows us to provide more relevant rewards at places where consumers prefer to shop,” he stated. “This is also a big opportunity for banks because by offering these rewards through their native channels, we are helping to build loyalty and increase share of wallet.”

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