Scots cities leading way with rise of contactless payments

Scottish cities are leading the way in the rise of contactless payments, with over-60s embracing the trend more rapidly than younger agegroups.

Contactless transactions made by people aged over 60 more than doubled over the past year. Picture: Silvia Bianchini

Data from Barclaycard showed that contactless transactions made by people aged over 60 more than doubled over the past year, while overall, the most contactless spending occurred in Glasgow and Edinburgh, alongside Manchester and Cardiff.

Meanwhile, separate figures from the UK Cards Association revealed that spending on contactless cards has more than trebled in the past year, up from £431.1 million in March 2015, with 67 payments made this way every second.

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One in seven of all card transactions are now contactless, compared to one in 16 a year ago, while there are a total of 86.5 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK.

Overall, total card spending was £51.9 billion in March, with 1.18 billion transactions in the month, while the debit and credit card share of total retail sales was at 77.4 per cent. In Glasgow and Edinburgh, spending on contactless cards grew by 243 per cent and 206 per cent respectively, according to Barclaycard.

Discount stores have seen the biggest increase, with useage rising by 431 per cent, followed by gift card and novelty shops with a 261 per cent increase.

Adam Herson, product director at Barclaycard, said: “Our data released today shows that the nation’s ‘silver spenders’ are anything but laggards when it comes to adopting new payments technology.

“Whether we’re stocking up on a few essentials on the way home from work, filling the car with fuel, or ordering a round of drinks in a busy bar on a Friday night - every second counts for today’s busy shopper. We expect this upward trend in contactless spending to continue to go from strength to strength throughout the rest of 2016.”

Richard Koch, head of policy at The UK Cards Association, said: “It took almost eight years for monthly contactless spending to reach half a billion pounds - now it’s grown by the same amount in just four months. This dramatic rise shows that paying with contactless is now second nature for millions of consumers who see it as an alternative to cash.

“Contactless cards are already being used to pay for travel and to donate to charity and as the technology evolves, we will see even more environments where contactless will enable fast, easy and secure payments.”