Barclaycard and Barclays announce one millionth contactless transaction in UK

Universal contactless smart card reader symbol
Image via Wikipedia

Barclaycard and Barclays have revealed the growing popularity of contactless payment technology in the UK, with the total number of transactions this year now reaching over one million. Since January there has been a 217% rise in monthly contactless transactions, with over 150,000 processed in September alone.

With 42,500 payment terminals in shops across the UK, there are now more opportunities than ever for the ten million Barclays and Barclaycard customers with contactless cards to make purchases under £15 more quickly and easily. Whilst contactless transactions remain a small part of overall card payments, increasing numbers of retailers and banks are committing to the technology, with contactless card holders predicted to reach 12 million in the UK by the end of the year.*

Stuart Neal, head of payment acceptance at Barclaycard commented: “The latest statistics on contactless payment show we are reaching a tipping point. The number of terminals has gone from 25,000 at the beginning of 2010, to 42,500 today, and this is before the big grocers like Co-operative begin their roll out in earnest. At a time when every penny counts for retailers, contactless helps boost customer satisfaction and reduce queue abandonment”

Dan Wass, currents accounts director at Barclays, said: “The range of retailers offering contactless payments has grown significantly, from supermarkets, to restaurants to coffee shops all offering contactless as a quicker and easier option for their customers. Contactless offers a real alternative for traditional cash transactions, helping to reduce queues and ending consumers’ search for the correct change”

Recent research carried out by Barclaycard and Barclays reveals that shoppers are less inclined to wait in queues.* According to the research, two fifths of customers refuse to queue for longer than two minutes, and two-thirds of customers regularly abandon purchases. Additionally, half (51%) of shoppers refuse to even enter a store if they see a queue. Contactless payment systems can reduce transaction times by over a third in comparison to cash, with the average transaction taking just 12.5 seconds.

* VISA Europe press release – July 5 2010