The number of contactless payments in the UK have more than trebled between Dec 2012 and Dec 2013. Mastercard have announced partnerships with a number of mobile companies to drive contactless adoption, large chain stores such as Books now accept contactless payments in all their stores.
It’s clear that after a slow start contactless payments are reaching tipping point. Here are the results of a Feb 2014 survey conducted by payment processor Worldpay of their customers:
- 249% increase in contactless payments between 2012 and 2013 (from 12.5m in December 2012 to 43.6mUK payments in December 2013)
- 38.1m contactless cards in circulation across the UK, making up 25.7% of all credit, and debit and charge cards
- High number of contactless users in London (17%), Manchester (12%), Leeds (12%)
- Average sale size increased by 27% in two years
- 93% of people who have used contactless payments said they find them “quick and efficient”
- 60% of Worldpay customers recognise the contactless symbol.
In Feb 2014 Mastercard partnered with the EE, O2 and Vodafone joint venture Weve to facilitate mobile payment integration. Up until now there has been no easy way for banks to offer mobile payments but this partnership should go some way to resolving the problem.
Mastercard are to provide technology and integration services to banks so they can be part of the Weve payment platform. The platform allows customers to make contactless payments with their phone at the point of sale. Weve already has 22 million opted in users across the 3 mobile networks so the usage of mobile payments is potentially huge.
The health and beauty retailer Boots has partnered with Visa Europe and WorldPay to roll out contactless terminals across its 2,500 UK stores.
Nigel Shortt, Boots UK, said: “At Boots UK, we are continually looking for new ways to offer our customers great shopping experiences. Contactless payment saves time for both our customers and staff during peak trading periods by speeding up traditional card payment and reducing transaction and queue times.”
Contactless payments are speeding up payments for todays consumer for whom time is a premium. It’s not hard to see contacless payments becoming the norm for small purchases within a few years.