The “tap and go” revolution: Contactless transactions triple in the UK

The “tap and go” revolution: Contactless transactions triple in the UK

Contactless payment technology is booming. According to figures released by the UK Cards Association, contactless transactions have more than tripled in the UK, with consumers using their contactless cards 319 million times last year and 10 transactions taking place every second.

With thousands of consumers using their iPhone handsets to make their first Apple Pay purchases last weekend, there’s no sign of the “tap and go” revolution slowing down.

With the current contactless card payment limit set at £20, it’s not only possible to tap and pay for sandwiches and coffees, but even a basket of shopping in a supermarket.  This limit is set to rise to £30 in September 2015, as more people flock towards contactless payment technology and move away from cash.

One reason for this accelerated growth is the introduction of contactless payment technology on London’s transport network, as there have been more than 100 million contactless journeys since its launch last September.

Regardless of this rapid rate of adoption, some consumers have expressed fears around security and fraud. Contactless cards use the same secure encryption technology as chip and PIN, so both consumers and business owners can be fully confident in the security of the technology. Instances of fraud on contactless cards are extremely rare, with the latest figures showing losses of less than a penny for every £100 spent – much lower than overall credit card fraud. Consumers are fully protected against any fraud losses and will never be left out of pocket.

The speed of transactions is the obvious benefit to the consumer and that’s why business owners can benefit too. “Tap and go” payments can reduce queues during busy periods, allowing for quicker service and more customers through the door.

Convenience store owner, Simrun Badh, of Singh’s Food and Wine explains how important this feature is to his customers –

Contactless technology is one of the best features of my card machine. This has been a hit with both my customers and staff as it literally takes seconds to process a card payment.”

By 2020 all Visa point-of-sale card machines in Europe will accept contactless payments and public transport systems in several cities, including Manchester, plan to introduce contactless payment technology in the near future.