Consumer: Leeds has highest UK contactless growth

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Contactless spending has trebled in the last year - with Leeds seeing the biggest increase in the UK.

Barclaycard has released new figures that show year-on-year use of contactless cards has leapt 150 per cent in value, with the number of transactions increasing by 134 per cent.

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Residents in Leeds have increased their contactless spending by more than 211 per cent - higher than Blackpool at 200 per cent and Newcastle at 192 per cent.

Tami Hargreaves, head of contactless at Barclaycard, said: “In the 50 years that we’ve been in business, we’ve seen consumers adopt many innovations in payments that have become part of our everyday lives. From the credit card to Chip and PIN to contactless and mobile payments, Brits are renowned as fast adopters of new technologies that make our lives easier. Our data released today underlines this trend and shows that ‘touch and go’ is fast becoming a favourite way to pay as both shoppers and retailers value the speed and ease it brings.”

Contactless technology was introduced in the UK in 2007 and allows shoppers to spend up to £20 per transaction. Paying for goods using a contactless card is faster because people don’t need to enter their pin — they just tap the card against the terminal at the till.

The limit was initially set at £20 to prevent thieves spending large amounts of money in the event of a lost or stolen card. But this will start to increase to £30 from September 1.

The rise was announced by the UK Cards Association in February because of the number of people using contactless cards.

Barclaycard’s research shows that 57 per cent of people in the UK expect to increase their use of contactless technology because of today’s rise. The figure is also expected to increase even further as more and more businesses adopt contactless technology.

The figures also show that supermarkets receive the lion’s share of contactless spend, accounting for 29 per cent of all transactions. Many more supermarket shoppers could benefit because of the rise to £30, as the company’s data suggests the average supermarket spend is £23.

Contactless transactions in restaurants account for 20 per cent with commuter spending a close third at 18 per cent.

Ms Hargreaves said: “Over the next year we expect the limit increase alongside the forthcoming launch of high value payments – where contactless transactions over £30 can be made using a mobile device combined with Chip and PIN authorisation – to drive this growth even further. Ultimately, the uptake of contactless spending is a ‘win-win’ for consumers and businesses alike.”

TOP TEN OF CONTACTLESS SPENDING

The top ten ways people use their contactless cards in the UK:

Supermarkets: 29 percent

Restaurants: 20 per cent

Commuter transport: 18 percent

Fast food outlets: 10 per cent

Pharmacies: four per cent

pubs and bars: four per cent

Convenience stores: three per cent

Service stations: three per cent,

Newsagents: two per cent

Caterers: one per cent.

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