Britain is officially the contactless capital of Europe. The latest figures show that Britons, especially Londoners, have embraced the concept of contactless payment.
Across Europe in March around 1.1 billion contactless transactions were made by Mastercard® cardholders in the last 12 months. These transactions were worth 12.6 billion euros and represent a threefold increase on the previous year.
In March alone, the last month for which figures are available, Britons made 52.6 million transactions worth more than 330 million euros (£230m). Poland and the Czech Republic were next, with 49.7 million and 13.9 million transactions respectively. Spain has the most contactless terminals at 593,000 and Britain has 300,000. It also has twice as many contactless cards in circulation than our nearest neighbour France.
Contactless payment allows cardholders to pay for goods up to a limit of £20 by holding their card over a reader instead of manually inputting their PIN. The limit is set to rise to £30 in September.
Contactless and Cash Free UK
One reason for London leading the way in contactless paying is the launch on Transport for London of the system in September 2014. Figures from the UK Cards Association show that in December, one in 10 contactless payments was made on bus Tube or train tickets in London.
An increasing number of other everyday items such as groceries, drinks or convenience food were bought using contactless payment and the rapid adoption of the system means an even swifter move towards the predicted cash-free economy.
The figures come as Barclaycard launches its new wearable technology. The bpay band is one of three new wearable devices being introduced by Barclaycard. A key fob and a sticker which can be attached to the back of a mobile phone will also streamline shopping, with all three devices available to any Visa or MasterCard cardholder – not just Barclays’ customers.
The quick development of wearable technology and its use within the financial industry is exciting, but such innovations are often inaccessible to people without a basic bank account and many people in the UK are unbanked or underbanked. If you have been denied traditional banking facilities, there are alternative banking solutions.
One such solution is Suits Me®. Suits Me® is a membership scheme that offers all its members a Mastercard® debit card that can be used in stores, online and over the phone, as well as online banking-like facilities.
If you would like to know more about the Suits Me® card, or would like to know if your recruitment agency offers a Suits Me® membership, then visit www.suitsmecard.com or contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.