Contactless payment is soaring as debit cards become most popular way to make a purchase

Alys Key
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Contactless payments have driven up the use of cards in the UK, so much so that they are now more popular than cash.

For the first time on record, the volume of retail purchases made by card now accounts for more than half of all transactions, according to the British Retail Consortium's annual payment survey.

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Low-value payments made by card have become more common in the era of contactless. The average value of a payment made by card has fallen from £30.53 in 2013 to £25.40 in 2016.

Debit cards also became the top payment method in terms of transaction volume for the first time, with a share of 42.6 per cent, overtaking cash with 42.3 per cent.

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The number of payments made by credit card also fell, indicating lower dependency on borrowing for day-to-day purchases even as consumer credit more generally grows.

Andrew Cregan, BRC's policy advisor on payments and consumer credit, explained: "A growing number of retailers have invested in payment technology to accept cards, contactless payments and new payment applications both online and in store."

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