Supermarkets account for most contactless payments as payments company Worldpay processes its billionth UK contactless payment.
The company has been processing contactless payments for three years and reached the billion mark after growth of 1,591% over the last two years. The last six months has seen the number of transactions grow by 150%. There were 6.65 million contactless transactions processed in April 2014 compared to 16.69 million in October 2014.
London accounts for about half of Worldpay's UK contactless transactions. But other cities are seeing increased take-up. Bristol saw a 286.6% increase in transactions over the last year while in Bournemouth there was a 223.3% increase.
Supermarkets took 44.2% of all UK contactless transactions, followed by the fast food businesses that processed 24%.
There is a sizable drop before the next biggest sector to take contactless transactions, with pharmacies accounting for 8.6% and food and drink 6.5%. Retailers accounted for only 1.4% of UK contactless transactions.
Dave Hobday, managing director of Worldpay UK, said contactless is an easy choice for businesses that process a significant number of low-value transactions. “It keeps customers happy by making their lives easy, and it helps staff make as many sales as possible during peak times.”
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“While this is still a relatively new market with just 18% of Brits claiming to possess a contactless card they use regularly, it is phenomenal how quickly the technology is moving from 'nice-to-have' to a 'must' in sectors such as hospitality, food, entertainment and retail.”
Hobday warned retailers who did not use the contactless technology to get in on the act. “Any retailer still on the sidelines is going to end up a step behind their competitors and missing out on the 'tap and go’ trade.”
Travel companies only accounted for 0.1%. In September 2014 Transport for London’s contactless card payment scheme went live, enabling customers to pay for London Underground, Overground, trams and DLR journeys using contactless bank cards.