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Mobile contactless payments grew by 247 per cent in the UK in 2016

Tyrone Stewart

£288m was spent through mobile contactless payments in the UK in 2016, as 38m transactions were carried out across the year mainly on lunch on the go and paying for drinks at the bar.

According to payment processing company Worldpay, mobile transactions grew by 247 per cent in 2016 – with notable lift off in adoption following the launch of Android Pay. ‘Meal deal’ hotspots – such as supermarkets and grocery stores – accounted for 54 per cent of all mobile contactless payments it processed. Pubs, bars and restaurants made up a further 20 per cent.

Londoners accounted for 32 per cent of all transactions, while the South East made up 14 per cent and the East of England and North West both accounting for eight per cent.

Contactless now accounts for 28 per cent of all non-cash transactions in the UK, with total spending exceeding £10bn in 2016. In December, Worldpay processed over 1.5bn in contactless payments with shoppers spending £10.39 per transaction on average.

“Contactless cards have paved the way for rapid adoption of mobile payment systems, driving investment in infrastructure and familiarity among consumers. Today one in five of us will use the technology at least once a day, rising to a third of people in London,” said James Frost, UK CMO of Worldpay.

“As people get more used to paying for goods on their smartphone, mobile’s ability to bridge more effectively across online and offline retail channels will increasingly threaten the future of the traditional payment card. Already more than half of UK shoppers say they’d happily leave their wallet at home and pay for everything on their smartphone instead.”