Payment Methods

UK Contactless Payments Grow 18 Pct. YOY

Contactless Payments Continue To Grow In U.K.

New data from U.K. Finance shows that contactless payments in the country continue to grow. In fact, almost 50 percent of all debit card payments are contactless.

In July of this year, cardholders in the U.K. made 1.5 billion transactions with their debit cards, which is a jump of 8.9 percent from the previous year. The total amount of the transactions was £50.7 billion ($63.8 billion), which is an increase of 1.4 percent from a year ago.

Also in July, U.K. cardholders made 314 million credit card transactions, an increase of 9.1 percent from a year ago. The total amount spent was £17.9 billion ($22.5 billion), which is 6.4 percent more than a year ago.

The annual growth rate of outstanding balances in the U.K. was at 3.7 percent in July of 2019, which continues a decrease from 8.3 percent at the beginning of last year.

There was a total of 1.6 billion card transactions, both debit and credit, made in July, an increase of 5.7 percent from a year ago. This number translates to a total of £60.1 billion ($75.6 billion), 0.7 percent less than 2018.

When it comes to contactless usage, about half of debit card transactions and 35 percent of credit card transactions were done using the method.

In July alone, there were 766 million transactions done using the technology, which is an increase of 17.8 percent from 650 million a year before.

Contactless transactions totaled £7.2 billion ($9 billion) in July, up from £6.1 billion ($7.7 billion) a year before.

In June, PYMNTS reported that contactless payments could potentially be hitting a tipping point in the United States, a country that has lagged behind Europe in terms of adoption of the technology.

According to payment gateway NMI, just 3 percent of payments in the U.S. don’t rely on swiping or chip card readers. In other words, nearly all U.S. cards use chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN methods.

The new PYMNTS mPOS Tracker takes a look at the state of mPOS solutions in North America. The global mPOS industry was valued at $26 billion as of 2018 and is projected to grow 35.4 percent between 2018 and 2025.

Will Americans finally be able to “tap and pay” in the near future?

What’s holding back adoption is kind of a chicken-and-egg situation. Card issuers have been slow to release contactless cards due to limited acceptance at the point-of-sale. But not all merchants want to invest in new payment terminals without mainstream adoption of contactless payments.

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Featured PYMNTS Study:

More than 63 percent of merchant service providers (MSPs) want to overhaul their core payment processing systems so they can up their value-added services (VAS) game. It’s tough, though, since many of these systems date back to the pre-digital era. In the January 2020 Optimizing Merchant Services Playbook, PYMNTS unpacks what 200 MSPs say is key to delivering the VAS agenda that is critical to their success.

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