Mobile contactless payments reach record high

17 August 2017

Mobile contactless payments reach record highContactless payment use in the UK has soared in 2017, with the amount spent in-store using mobile devices rising more than threefold.

Mobile contactless transactions topped £370 million in the first six months of 2017, representing a 336% year-on-year rise in spending, according to the latest transaction data from payments processor Worldpay. Spend on contactless overall was £9 billion in first six months of 2017.

The use of mobile devices to make in-store payments has been growing steadily since the UK launch of Apple Pay in 2015, Android Pay in 2016 and Samsung Pay earlier this year.

Spending on all forms of contactless systems now accounts for 38% of all non-cash transactions in the UK. Total contactless spend in 2017 reached £9bn up to June, compared to £10bn throughout the whole of 2016.

James Frost, UK cmo, Worldpay, said: "Mobile spending has shaken off the novelty tag and is breaking its own spending records virtually every month. Granted, there's still some way to go before we start cutting up our cards and chucking away our wallets, but it's easy to see why everyone from start-ups to tech giants is eager to have a stake in the technology."

Supermarkets and grocery stores dominate the mobile "tap and pay" market, accounting for 55% of total spend so far in 2017. Londoners still spend the most on their mobiles, but the proportion of transactions concentrated around London has reduced from 32% at the end of 2016, to 28% in 2017, as adoption becomes more widespread across the UK.

The fast rate of adoption suggests that mobile payments are well beyond the early adopter stage, says Frost.

"We're now seeing pockets of incredible growth in mobile adoption right across the country with the South East of England accounting for 15% of total spend and the North West making up 10%.

"Mobile is already emerging as the dominant payment channel for ecommerce. It's very difficult to argue against it doing the same for in-store payments; and at a far faster rate than many would imagine."