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Nine in 10 card transactions were contactless in 2020

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Abigail Fenton
·2-min read
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Contactless payments Source: Ian Tuttle/REX/Shutterstock
Contactless payments continue to rise in popularity following limit increase. Photo: Ian Tuttle/REX/Shutterstock

Nine in 10 eligible card transactions made using contactless in 2020, new data from Barclaycard reveals.

Since the UK limit was raised from £30 ($41) to £45 – making more transactions eligible for contactless payments – the average value of contactless transactions has jumped up by nearly a third (29%).

The figure now stands at £12.38, compared to the 2019 average of £9.60.

The total volume of contactless payments unsurprisingly fell by 11.8% compared to 2019, as many stores were forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, with the higher average transaction value, the total transaction value actually rose by 7%.

READ MORE: Will Contactless Payments be Able to Maintain Their Popularity?

Individually, the average contactless user made 141 contactless payments in 2020, worth a total of £1,640.

What's more, grocery stores, which remained open, saw a significant growth in contactless users, with payments up a whopping 29.4% year-on-year.

The sector likely benefitted from the £45 limit enabling more cardholders to pay for their shop using the technology, Barclaycard said.

With Brits seeking to spruce up their house and garden while spending more time at home than ever before, home improvement and DIY also saw a massive increase of 69.41% in contactless payments.

Additionally, fuel saw an increase of nearly a quarter (24.7%), the data shows.

READ MORE: Record 64% of debit card payments were contactless in September

Over found over-65s, who were most likely to embrace contactless technology for the first time, with this age group seeing a 12% annual growth in the number of active users, likely boosted by the pandemic.

The study found The biggest day for contactless in 2020 was Saturday 19 December — the last Saturday before Christmas, which saw 71.9% more contactless spend than the daily average for the year, likely due to people out buying last-minute Christmas presents.

“We are delighted to see that even more Brits are relying on contactless to make in-store payments,” said Raheel Ahmed, head of consumer products at Barclaycard.

“We believe that contactless is the safer, faster and most responsible way to pay in store – and we encourage all consumers to take advantage of it wherever possible.”

Watch: Is contactless commerce the way of the future?