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UK shoppers splash out £234m on contactless cards in March

UK shoppers are the biggest adopters of contactless cards in Europe, spending more than €330m (£234m) in March, according to new data from Visa.

In the year to March 2015, the number of contactless cards in circulation grew by more than 37% in the UK alone, where there are now almost 50 million cards and 410,000 terminals in use.

The figures also reveal the uptake of contactless payments in Europe as a whole continues to climb, with over 1 billion transactions made in the last 12 months, totalling more than €12.6bn (£8.9bn).

Visa cardholders spent €1.6bn (£1.1bn) during March; a three-fold increase on the same period in 2014.

Executive director of core products at Visa Europe Sandra Alzetta said: “Across Europe, usage levels have soared, with more than 1 billion contactless transactions made by Visa cardholders in the last 12 months alone.

“The popularity of contactless will only increase in future as we experience the next generation of digital payments, where the simplicity and convenience is extended to mobile and wearable NFC technology [which enables smartphones and other devices to establish radio communication with each other by bringing them together].”

Visa added that all of its point-of-sale terminals in Europe will accept contactless payments by 2020.

@LukeToddUK

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