News & Views - Savantor

Contactless seems set to dominate in 2016

Saturday, 09 January 2016
We are only two weeks into 2016 and the topic that has dominated announcements in the payments world more than any other is contactless. The UK Cards Association (UKCA) and the Department for Transport (DfT) has just published a national framework for contactless journeys across the UK. The framework enables transport operators across the country to implement contactless payments on local pay-as-you-go journeys and provides a consistent experience for travellers. Further funding has also been announced by rail operators for a joint project between the card and rail industry to explore how contactless cards and devices could be associated with long-distance train tickets or season tickets, so passengers no longer have to print out tickets. The framework should also help with the development of the recently announced business case for introducing contactless bus travel across the country, which should be completed by late spring 2016. The emphasis on introducing contactless is not restricted to the UK; the Governor of New York has announced that there will be a focus on introducing contactless technology for the payment of subway and bus travel in the city, with the objective that travellers will be able to pay for their fares using this method by 2018. Visa announced that in December more than a million journeys on the London underground were paid with a contactless Visa card. This is on top of the latest figures released by the UK Cards Association, which show that contactless card transactions now account for one in 10 card payments, the first time the milestone has been passed. The statistics show that there were 120.5 million contactless card payments in October in the UK, meaning that 10.3% of all card transactions were made using contactless. This has risen from 3.7% a year ago. The average value of a contactless payment also increased slightly to £7.72, up from £7.35 in September when the limit for a single payment rose to £30. It looks likely that we can expect to see contactless build on its success last year and continue its impressive growth in 2016.
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