UK Finance, the trade association for the country’s banking and financial services sector, has revealed that more than a quarter of all UK payments are now contactless.
The body’s 2021 Payment Markets Report revealed that the number of contactless payments made in the UK increased by 12% to 9.6 billion payments last year.
Over the past four years, contactless payments have risen from being just 7% of all payments to 27%.
Furthermore, 83% of people in the UK now use contactless, with no age group or region falling below 75% usage and supermarkets being the primary location to use the payment method.
David Postings, the chief executive of UK Finance, said: “The pandemic resulted in some marked changes in payments behaviour and while it’s too early to say whether they are permanent changes, we did see an acceleration in some existing trends such as the reduction in cash usage and the growth in contactless and mobile payments.
“The increase in the contactless limit to £45 coupled with retailers encouraging its use meant that more than a quarter of all payments in 2020 were made via contactless.”
He added: “The use of cash fell, reflecting the fact that large parts of the economy were closed during the year, although it still remained the second most popular payment method behind debit cards.
“There remains real diversity in the way in which people choose to conduct their day-to-day spending and the banking and finance industry is committed to helping customers make payments in a variety of different ways.”