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Contactless payments soar, says Barclaycard

Barclaycard has revealed that more than 90% of its customers’ face-to-face transaction are now made using contactless payments.

At the beginning of March, the limit for contactless payment was increased from £30 to £45 to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. Since then more than 25m contactless payments have been made with a total value of over £900m. The average of these payments has been £39.20.

The data also reveals that 57% of in-store transactions at small businesses between £30 and £45 are now made using contactless, suggesting more are embracing this payment method.

The report coincides with figures from UK Finance that reveals the trend towards card and contactless payments was happening way before coronavirus, with card payments in 2019 accounting for 51% of all payments for the first time.

Debit cards were the most used payment method in the UK with 17 billion payments, of which seven billion were contactless. Consumer use of credit cards also rose during 2019, up by 7% driven partly by the increase in contactless credit cards issued last year with 1.3 billion credit card payments made via contactless in 2019.

The number of contactless payments across debit and credit cards increased by 16% to 8.6 billion.

Cash payments, meanwhile, continued to decline in 2019, falling by 15% to 9.3 billion payments, although cash was still the second most popular payment method in the UK after debit card.

Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, said: “An increase in ways to pay coupled with the change in people’s payment habits may have inadvertently gone some way to prepare the nation for the impact of Covid-19 on their daily lives. With consumers already using contactless payments and remote banking more than in previous years, these technological advances have allowed many people to shop and make payments safely from home or in store. The impact of Covid-19 may accelerate these habits for many customers; however, we are fully aware that not all customers are digitally-enabled which is why we are working flat out to ensure people have access to cash and everyday banking services remain available to help the country through these difficult times.”

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