UK mobile contactless payments skyrocket

The value of mobile contactless transactions in the UK has skyrocketed to £370 million in the first six months of 2017, a 336 per cent rise on the previous year, the latest Worldpay data has shown.

The use of mobile devices to make in-store payments has been growing steadily since the UK launch of Apple Pay in 2015, but according to Worldpay it is only in the past 12 months that the technology has begun to gain widespread acceptance beyond ‘early adopters,’ further fuelled by the launch of Android Pay in 2016 and Samsung Pay earlier this year.

Monthly spending on mobile devices has risen by 57 per cent in the past six months from £46 million in January 2017 to £74 million in June. Meanwhile, mobile’s overall share of in-store transactions has risen from 1.18 per cent at the end of 2016 to 2.04 per cent in June 2017.

Spending on all forms of contactless systems now accounts for 38 per cent of non-cash transactions in the UK. Total contactless spend in 2017 reached £9 billion up to June, compared to £10 billion throughout the whole of 2016.

Supermarkets and grocery stores continue to dominate the mobile tap and pay market, accounting for 55 per cent of total spend so far in 2017.

James Frost, UK CMO at Worldpay, commented: “Mobile spending has shaken off the novelty tag, and is breaking its own spending records virtually every month. Granted there’s still some way to go before we start cutting up our cards and chucking away our wallets, but it’s easy to see why everyone from startups to tech giants is eager to have a stake in the technology.

“Mobile is already emerging as the dominant payment channel for e-commerce. It’s very difficult to argue against it doing the same for in-store payments; and at a far faster rate than many would imagine.”

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