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UK consumers spend £60 billion with contactless ten years on since launch

Manny Pham
September 5, 2017

51 per cent of transactions in the UK under £30 is now via contactless technologies

The British public has spent over £60 billion using contactless payment methods since launch in 2007, spend is predicted to surge 317 per cent by 2021.

This is according to global payment firm Barclaycard celebrating the tenth anniversary of contactless payments in the UK. It said 51 per cent of transactions in the UK under £30 is via contactless technologies.

Contactless technology allows consumers to go ‘cashless’ using smartphones and cards to pay for goods up to a limit of £30 per transaction.

According to research from Barclaycard on 509 retailers (252 with contactless), 2,003 UK adults in July, two thirds (64pc) of consumers use devices to pay. One in six (16pc) retailers offer contactless payments, with 28pc planning on implementing the technology in the next five or more years.

However, 10pc are looking to introduce the technology in the next six months.

In the past 12 months clothing stores, parking lots and department stores saw the most contactless transactions (see boxout).


Barclaycard introduced the fist contactless payment card the Barclaycard OnePulse ten years ago (Sep 1).

It allowed consumers to pay for goods up to £10 at 6,000 retailers nationally. The OnePulse saved consumers an average of seven seconds per transaction.

In 2008 the firm reported a rise in contactless payments reporting 160,000 transactions across the year. That figure more than doubled to 360,000 in 2009. Over £1 billion was spent annually for the first time in 2013, leading to the spending limit rising to £30 in 2015.

Touch and go

Barclaycard mobile payments director of innovation and partnerships Tami Hargreaves said: “Our data shows that the uptake and usage of contactless payment technology continues to grow, with paying by ‘touch and go’ now the preferred way to pay for many Brits. We’re looking forward to continuing to innovate by introducing a number of new initiatives over the next 10 years!”

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