High Streets Initiative · 4 April 2018

Britain’s ten most contactless cities revealed  

London has nearly six times as many contactless payments as the second highest city in the UK – Birmingham.

Businesses could lose out on trade if they refuse to adapt to the contactless trend, as research suggests a third of UK consumers find another shop if the vendor did not accept card payments.

New data, collated by card processor Paymentsense from the consumer spending habits and opinion of 2,000 UK residents, reveals the cities leading accelerated growth in contactless payments with the top ten predicted to go cashless first.

The findings also predicted that contactless payments will make up 27 per cent use of all payments by 2026, highlighting the importance of card transactions if a company is going to survive in today’s market.

Head of marketing at Paymentsense, Guy Moreve, said: “As a society, we’re close to becoming cashless as our research highlights which UK cities are the most advanced in terms of payment solutions.”

There’s areas of the UK that are adapting to this movement, but others that haven’t made the list need to improve and move with the times.”

London tops the chart for contactless payments with the highest number of card transactions in the country – almost 60m.

Top ten cities for card transactions

City Sum of transactions
London 59,498,327
Birmingham 10,000,609
Bristol 8,297,118
Brighton 6,775,089
Manchester 5,449,368
Sheffield 4,765,407
Edinburgh 4,140,689
Portsmouth 3,712,439
Leeds 3,655,217
Oxford 3,450,293


Four out of five Brits said card transactions, including contactless, were their preferred form of payment.

Young spenders are the biggest users of contactless payments, as 41 per cent of young people aged 18-24 said it was their favourite way to pay.

Although the contactless craze is spreading far and wide across the UK, the study revealed 46 per cent of the UK are worried about the security of card transactions.

This was more common in older people ages 55+, where only ten per cent of people chose contactless as top choice.

Customers need to check payment amounts and always know where their cards are, to ensure these payments keep a high level of security.

Contactless usage almost tripled in 2016, so it’s no surprise almost half of Brits surveyed would like more businesses to accept card payments.

“The study further highlights the average person’s diminishing availability of cash, as many struggle when it comes to everyday, cash-only services such as car parks and taxis, and the importance of accepting card payments within these businesses,” added Moreve.

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Carly Hacon is a reporter for Business Advice. She has a BA in journalism from Kingston University, and has previously worked as a features editor for a local newspaper.