52 contactless payments made every second in UK last December

Contactless card payments continue to rise at a rapid rate, with nearly £8bn spent in the UK last year using the technology

Twice as much money was spent via contactless credit and debit cards in the UK in 2015 than in the previous seven years combined.

According to the latest figures from the UK Cards Association, £7.75bn was spent in 2015 in 1.05 billion contactless transactions.

This represents a huge leap from 2014, when £2.32bn was spent, and the number of transactions last year was 288% higher than in 2014. Contactless is only part of total annual card spending, though, which was £622bn in 2015 from 13.4 billion transactions.

The UK Cards Association said about half (79.3 million) of all debit and credit cards in circulation are now contactless.

The equivalent of 52 contactless payments were made every second in December last year, with 140 million transactions representing a total of £1.2bn.

“The swift increase in contactless usage continued apace last year, with nearly one in eight card transactions now using the technology,” said Graham Peacop, CEO at the UK Cards Association. “Whether it’s to stock up in the supermarket, travel to work, or buy your lunch, contactless is a fast, easy and secure way to make payments.”

Transport for London (TfL), which accepts contactless payments for travelers, contributes heavily to the UK total. Over a million journeys are paid for on TfL’s network every day using contactless cards.

“The popularity of contactless payments on London’s transport network is phenomenal. We’ve already seen more than 350 million journeys made using contactless, using cards from more than 80 different countries,” said Shashi Verma, director of customer experience at TfL.

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