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Contactless spend triples as £30 limit approaches

The amount spent using contactless payments climbed 150% in the past year, while the number of transactions rose 134%, according to Barclaycard.

Just over half (57%) of the 2,000 customers surveyed said they expect to increase their usage after the limit for a single contactless transaction rises from £20 to £30 on September 1.

Across the UK, Leeds has seen the biggest spike in usage over the past 12 months, spending 211% more than the year before. Blackpool (up 200%), Newcastle (192%), Manchester (191%) and Edinburgh (190%) have also seen sharp rises.

London continues to lead the way for contactless penetration in the UK, with 40% of eligible transactions made using a contactless system, up from 33% in 2014. This is largely accounted for by the increasing popularity of contactless travel on London’s tubes, trains and buses.

Tami Hargreaves, head of contactless at Barclaycard, said: “Touch-and-go is fast becoming a favourite way to pay as both shoppers and retailers value the speed and ease it brings.

“Over the next year we expect the limit increase alongside the forthcoming launch of high value payments – where contactless transactions over £30 can be made using a mobile device combined with chip and pin authorisation – to drive this growth even further.”

WGSN’s InStock service shows that 62% of full-priced clothing, footwear and accessories across womenswear, menswear and kidswear in the UK is priced below £30.

WGSN’s head of market intelligence, Lorna Hall, said: “Shoppers love contactless because of the speed and convenience it offers. Our patience for waiting for anything is on the decline and abandoning purchases in store on sight of a slow moving queue is becoming just as much an issue for retailers as abandoned checkouts online. Retailers who don’t have contactless need to realise that customers are becoming much more comfortable with trading off security for convenience and a better experience.”

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