High Streets Initiative · 1 August 2017

Cash free shopping in sight as retailers back increase to contactless payment limit

Close-up of woman making payment through NFC in cafeteria
A fifth of retailers offering contactless payments registered a 50 per cent rise in daily transactions
A cashless future for British high streets may have been brought a step closer, after new research showed a majority of UK retailers favour an increase to the contactless payment limit.

The study, from Barclaycard, analysed spending trends and survey responses to highlight a strong appetite for touch and go? payments from both consumers and retailers.

The current payment ceiling of 30 was introduced in September 2015, rising from 20. Now, over a third would increase it to 50, while fifth of retail owners offering the technology favoured a new contactless payment limit of 100.

Survey findings also confirmed the business benefits retailers have experienced from contactless payments.

Three-quarters of shop owners offering contactless processed an average 30 per cent more transactions each day since introducing the technology, while a fifth registered up to 50 per cent more.

Meanwhile, over a third of shoppers said they used cash less and less in the past year.

Commenting on the findings, TamI Hargreaves, director of innovation and partnerships at Barclaycard Mobile Payments, said UK consumers and retailers alike were embracing contactless.

as the old adage goes, time is money, and since introducing contactless to the UK ten years ago, weve seen Brits embrace the technology in their droves, Hargreaves said.

with speed, security and convenience all being so important for shoppers, it’s not surprising that contactless is quickly becoming the most popular way to pay.

Recent figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed card sales accounted for over half of all retail transactions in 2016, overtook cash for the first time. The shift was partly attributed to the increased contactless payment limit.

Now, Barclaycard has predicted sales from contactless to increase 317 per cent by 2021. Despite consumer behaviour clearly heading in one direction, half of all retailers are yet to introduce contactless payment technology into their stores.



Praseeda Nair is an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.

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