High Streets Initiative · 16 October 2018

Contactless payments overtake chip and pin for the first time

card payments
Fashion retailers have seen the greatest shift from Chip and PIN to contactless

British shoppers are for the first time ever using contactless cards more than Chip and PIN to pay for in-store purchases, new data has revealed.

New Worldpay figures heralded the arrival of a “Tap and Go” tipping point, as contactless usage jumped 30% in the last year to become the most popular form of card payment. It said shoppers found contactless more convenient and secure to use.

Worldpay predicted that during the final six months of 2018, UK shoppers could spend up to £38.5bn via contactless transactions in-store. Part of this growth comes from the rise in the use of mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

It forecasted that contactless payments could “pave the way” for phones to replace wallets over the next decade.

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Northern Ireland has seen the greatest uplift in both contactless and mobile contactless transactions, followed by the North West, Scotland and the North East.

Worldpay said fashion retailers have seen the greatest shift from Chip and PIN to contactless, with the sector citing a massive 415% year-on-year increase. Mobile contactless payments also rose significantly in the clothing and footwear sector, up almost 500% over the past year.

Betting shops and department stores also saw significant growth of mobile contactless payments: between 150 and 250%.

“The data clearly shows that shoppers are moving towards more convenient forms of payment. This aligns to what we’re seeing in a number of sectors: time-poor consumers want instant access to their goods,” said Steve Newton, executive vice president at Worldpay.

“Whether buying clothes or booking holidays, speed and ease are the watch words for meeting consumer expectations. The popularity of online shopping, mobile payments and click-and-collect is testament to this.

“But it’s not simply about tap and go – it’s about convenience and reducing the parts of the shopping experience that customers find irritating, like queuing and waiting to pay.”

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