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Contactless payments surpass Chip and PIN in UK shops

Contactless card payments now account for more spending in UK stores than Chip and PIN

More card payments were made using contactless technology than Chip and PIN in the UK over the 12 months from June 2017.

Figures from payment processing firm Worldpay revealed that, after a 30% increase on the previous year, contactless payments were the most used card payments in shops.

Worldpay has predicted that contactless payments could account for as much as £38.5bn in sales in UK shops in the second half of 2018.

Some of the growth can be attributed to the increased use of mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, according to Worldpay, as payments using smartphones increased by 114% during the analysed period.

Steve Newton, executive vice-president at Worldpay, said: “Whether buying clothes or booking holidays, speed and ease are the watch words for meeting consumer expectations.”

But the rise of contactless payments is part of a bigger story, he added. “It’s not simply about tap and go – it’s about convenience and reducing the parts of the shopping experience that customers find irritating, like queuing and waiting to pay.”

Worldpay research found that half of shoppers believed their phones could replace their wallets in the next five years.

Clothes stores have seen a 415% year-on-year increase in contactless payments as a whole, and a 500% increase in contactless payments from smartphones. Betting shops and department stores saw smartphone contactless payments rise between 150% and 250%.

Consumers are becoming more confident in the technology and are happy for spending limits to increase above the £30 they are currently permitted. Worldpay’s research also found that 65% of consumers would happily make a contactless purchase of up to £50.

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