Contactless payments rising in popularity, UK Finance figures show

Contactless payments rising in popularity, UK Finance figures show

Figures from UK Finance have shown that contactless payments are rising in popularity, leading to debit cards becoming the top payment method in the UK.

The finance and banking trade association’s 2018 UK Payments Market Review showed that debit cards have overtaken cash as the most popular payment method, with 13.2 billion debit card payments being made in 2017, compared to 13.1 billion cash payments.


Consumers are now being provided with more choice as a result of changing consumer habits, new technology and more access to card payments. However, cash could still remain a top payment method for consumers, with the report stating that it is predicted that it will be the UK’s second most frequently used method of payment in 2027.

More than 60% of people in the UK now use contactless payments, with small businesses being among those that have helped to drive the increase in popularity of debit cards.

Nearly 119 million contactless cards were in circulation at the end of last year, and it is expected that 36% of all payments made in the UK will be contactless by 2027.


Commenting on the trend, UK Finance’s Chief Executive Stephen Jones said that the range of payment options that are available in Britain is allowing people to choose to pay the way that suits them best.

He said that we are a long way from becoming a cash-free society though, and despite Britain changing to an economy where cash is not so important, it will remain a payment method that is preferred and valued by many people.

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