Friday 15 March 2019 3:15 pm

Contactless card payments rise by a third with transaction limit set to increase

Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email:

Sport and Business Reporter at City AM. Email:

Every two in five card payments are made with contactless technology according to new data. 

Contactless transactions rose 31 per cent year-on-year in 2018, data from banking trade body UK Finance revealed, demonstrating a growing confidence in paying without use of a Pin.

A wider adoption of the technology on public transport and in more high street retailers is part of the reason. 

Read more: DEBATE: Is biometric technology the future for digital payments?

The current payment limit with a contactless card is £30, more than which a Pin must be used. 

But an increase in usage throughout 2018 is expected to lead to an increase in that maximum, although those using Apple Pay are already able to spend more than that limit in most retailers.

Payments on contactless debit cards were up 29 per cent last year too, with more than 6.3 payments made worth a total of £58bn, according to UK Finance, while there was increase in contactless credit card payments of 44 per cent.

The average spent per transaction on any card by any means was £35. 

Read more: Natwest's fingerprint payments let you override £30 contactless limit

"Many of us are now reaching for our cards or mobiles rather than cash to make low-value purchases, as customers opt for the convenience and security of paying with contactless," Eric Leenders, managing director of personal finance at UK Finance, said.

"There has also been an increase in credit card use although growth in outstanding balances has slowed, suggesting many consumers are using their cards for day-to-day spending rather than as a means of borrowing."

It comes after a report earlier this month said that cash was at risk of disappearing without action from regulators and the government.