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Contactless payments through mobile phones no longer a novelty

The amount of contactless payments made through mobile devices increased by 336% compared with 2016, according to figures from Worldpay

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UK consumers used their mobile phones to make £370m worth of contactless payments in the first six months of 2017.

According to figures from Worldpay this represented an increase of 336% for payments known as mobile tap and pay compared with the first six months of 2016.

Supermarkets and grocery stores are the main locations where mobile tap and pay transactions are made, accounting for 55% of total spend in the first six months of 2017, Worldpay found.

While contactless payments made via bank cards are already popular – with 2.9 billion contactless card payments made in 2016, according to figures from Payments UK – contactless payments through mobile tap and pay have seen a slower take up.

But James Frost, UK chief marketing officer at Worldpay, said contactless mobile spending has shaken off the novelty tag. “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 are eager to have a stake in the technology.”

Using mobile phones to make contactless payments is made possible through apps such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google’s Android Pay.

People in London are the main users mobile tap and pay, accounting for 28% of the UK’s total during the six month period of this year.

Frost said the introduction of the Oyster Card in 2003 gave Londoners a head-start, but “we’re now seeing pockets of incredible growth in mobile adoption right across the country”.

Worldpay found that South East England, not including London, accounted for 15% of total contactless mobile spend, and North West England made up 10%. 

Worldpay said total UK contactless spending, including those through cards and mobile phones, reached £9bn in the in the first six months of this year, compared with £10bn in the full year 2016. 

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