Mobile contactless payments soar 247% in 2016

Trolley of fresh food with mobile

More and more shoppers are using their mobile at the checkout

A 247% increase in mobile contactless payments in 2016 was due to workers grabbing lunch on the go and paying for drinks at the bar.

Worldpay. the UK’s largest payments processor, said a total amount of around £288m was spent using contactless payments last year.

It said a mobile device was used in 38 million transactions, boosted by the September launch of Android Pay.

Lunchtime ‘meal deals’ at outlets including supermarkets and grocery stores accounted for 54% of all mobile tap and pay transactions processed by Worldpay in 2016.

Pubs, bars and restaurants made up 20% of the total, while 9% of transactions took place in the pharmacy and beauty sector.

“Contactless cards have paved the way for rapid adoption of mobile payment systems, driving investment in infrastructure and familiarity among consumers,” said Worldpay UK CMO James Frost.

“Today one in five of us will use the technology at least once a day, rising to a third of people in London.

“As people get more used to paying for goods on their smartphone, mobile’s ability to bridge more effectively across online and offline retail channels will increasingly threaten the future of the traditional payment card. Already more than half of UK shoppers say they’d happily leave their wallet at home and pay for everything on their smartphone instead.”

Spending on all forms of contactless systems now accounts for 28% of all non-cash transactions in the UK, with total spend exceeding £10bn for the year in 2016. In December alone, Worldpay said it processed more than £1.5bn in contactless payments with shoppers spending an average of £10.39 on each transaction.

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