UK retail transactions grew by 60% last week, Barclaycard finds

By last week an additional 60% of Barclaycard’s customers had returned to trading and taking payments compared to the first week of April, as lockdown restrictions continued to ease.

According to Barclaycard, comparing last week to the week prior – commencing 7 June – it found there was a 12% increase in active customers.

With more business open, the payment provider also saw an 8% increase in the total number of transactions compared to the week commencing 7 June, with many consumers “taking advantage” of their first opportunity to shop for the non-essential items they had been missing during lockdown.

This also led to an increase in contactless transactions, with Barclaycard Payments processing 10% more contactless transactions than the week before.

It also revealed that since the introduction of the new £45 contactless limit in the UK, Barclaycard Payments has processed almost 40,700,000 contactless transactions above the previous limit of £30.

The total value of these new contactless transactions above £30 is over £1.4bn.

Barclaycard said small and medium businesses “in particular benefitted” from being able to open back up, experiencing a 12% increase in the total volume of transactions, and a 9% increase in the total value processed.

Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments, said: “It’s extremely heartening to witness the spike in activity that took place last week, and with some retailers still to open some or all of their stores, we expect sales volumes to continue to rise over the coming weeks.

“The ability of UK businesses to adapt and grow as they emerge from lockdown is a testament to how dedicated and resilient they are. It will be interesting to watch whether the measures they took to boost income during lockdown, such as turning to social media to increase sales, will become a permanent part of their business models from now on.”

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