Contactless is now the preferred way to pay

‘Touch and go’ or contactless payments are surging in popularity, with spending up by more than a third since the turn of the year, according to Barclaycard.

More than half (51%) of all transactions up to the eligible spending limit of £30 are now made using contactless – which shaves seven seconds off the time taken to process a transaction compared to Chip and PIN.

The news comes as industry body The UK Cards Association reveals that credit and debit payments have doubled in the past 10 years, with the increased use of contactless being one of the main drivers of this growth.

While contactless card transactions have been continuing to grow over the past few years, mobile payments are now also catching on.

The amount spent by users of Barclaycard’s Android Contactless Mobile app has jumped by 90% in 2017.

Shoppers in the Midlands and the north of England are use the contactless method more than anywhere else in the UK, with the biggest jumps in spending seen in Derby (up 45%), Chester (up 44 %), Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (up 42 %), Coventry (up 42 %) and Stoke-on-Trent (up 41 %).

Adam Herson, director at Barclaycard Mobile Payments, said: “Our data shows growth in contactless spending has been surging for several years.

“But this latest insight is particularly significant as it shows shoppers now prefer to pay with ‘touch and go’, with more than half of eligible transactions made this way.

He added: “September will mark the tenth anniversary of Barclaycard introducing contactless to the UK and during this time we’ve seen the technology evolve a rapid pace, from mobile and wearable devices to invisible payments such as our newly launched ‘Grab+Go’ concept, which allows consumers to scan and pay for their shopping with a smartphone.

“With more innovation in the pipeline and a continued rise in consumer and merchant adoption, 2017 is on track to be another record-breaking year for contactless spending.”

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