Contactless Payments Gaining Popularity in the UK

As we reflect back on the way the digital payments industry changed and grew during 2018, one big trend stood out and paved the way for the future. Contactless payments —  or “tap and go” payments — became the most popular form of payment in the United Kingdom.

For years, chip and PIN in-store card payments were the most common way to pay for goods. June 2018 saw a tipping point and contactless officially became the most used form of payment for in-store transactions across the UK, jumping 30% from the year prior. The biggest shift to contactless was seen in the fashion, clothing, footwear and department store industries.

The rising use of contactless payments can largely be attributed to the adoption of mobile wallets like Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Additional factors include increases to contactless spending limits and a growing number of places that accept contactless payments.

Contactless payments’ growing popularity is about “convenience and reducing the parts of the shopping experience that customers find irritating, like queuing and waiting to pay,” says Steve Newton of Worldpay. Newton also states that the majority of consumers believe that smartphones can replace wallets within the next five years.

Trends in the financial and technological industries show that time-poor people want instant access to things like goods and information. They want to be able to get what they need as quickly as possible, then get on with their day. More and more, the key to meeting consumer expectations is providing a quick, easy shopping experience.

Contactless payments haven’t yet gained the same traction in the US as they have in the UK, but it’s only a matter of time. When do you expect to see the trend on this side of the Atlantic?

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