News & Views - Savantor

The Continuing Evolution of Contactless

Wednesday, 09 September 2015
Contactless cards have been given another boost this month with the increase in the contactless maximum transaction limit from £20 to £30. With the rise in contactless usage being one of this year's success stories in the payment industry, this change can only help further increase its popularity as a payment method. According to the UK Cards Association, there are more than 58 million contactless cards in the UK and more than £2.5 billion was spent using contactless cards in the first half of 2015. Barclaycard have stated that the amount spent on contactless cards has jumped 150% since September 2014, with the number of transactions increasing by 134%. As a third of contactless payments are made in supermarkets, where the average spend on shopping is £23, the recent increase in the contactless limit is likely to encourage a significant increase of usage in this market sector. The increase in contactless limits comes only weeks after the introduction of Apple Pay in July in the UK and coincides with the announcement this month by Barclaycard that they will be offering contactless payments from any NFC-enabled Android phone. Meanwhile Android Pay is being launched in the US and although there is not currently a date for its introduction in the UK, it will inevitably become available over the coming months. Furthermore MasterCard have announced that by 2017 it will have upgraded all contactless terminals to allow higher value (+£30) transactions. Although concerns have been raised about how susceptible contactless cards are to fraud – highlighted recently by an investigation by the consumer group Which? – the UK Cards Association has described instances of fraud on contactless cards as "extremely rare", with losses of less than a penny for every £100 spent on contactless, far lower than card fraud generally. The payments market is developing at an incredible pace and the role of contactless technology continues to play an increasingly significant role in its evolution.
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