The Rise of Contactless Payments in 2021

February 2, 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic saw a change in many aspects of our life, one of the most notorious was the jump of contactless payments. Two years later, this trend seems to continue on the uptake. Research by Barclaycard gives us insight on exactly how big the leap was in 2021.

contactless payments have increased 40.2 per cent year on year, with 91.1 per cent of all eligible card transactions in 2021 having been made contactlessly.

October 2021 saw a rise in the contactless payment expending limit increase from £45 to £100. After this change, the average number of transactions made each day is growing by 27.5% in the UK.

contactless payments have increased 40.2 per cent year on year, with 91.1 per cent of all eligible card transactions in 2021 having been made contactlessly.

The Impact Across All Sectors

Contactless payments are not only a convenient way to pay because of it’s no-touch feature during a pandemic, but also because it saves time. The research shows consumers saved an average of seven to 15 seconds per contactless transaction compared to chip and PIN and cash.

The increase to the £100 payment limit has been a great opportunity to take friction out of the purchase experience. This is especially the case in busy stores where queues can quickly build up; the faster that line moves through, the more likely shoppers are to have a good experience and want to come back. Speed at the checkout will often avoid shoppers going elsewhere, which is why the limit increase is a win-win for cardholders and merchants.

One of the most notorious sectors that has seen an rise in business was the entertainment sector; this includes movie theaters, bowling alleys, even arcades. They all saw a growth of 105.8% while more mature entertainment sectors, such as pubs, bars and clubs saw an 83.4% increase year-on-year.

This increase also benefited retailers, clothing stores and the fast food market.

Contactless in 2021

The increase in contactless payments saw in 2021 compared to 2020 was astounding, with the average user making 141 payments, worth  £1,640 in 2020, to 180 worth  £2,293 in 2021.

Our data shows that many shoppers have welcomed the £100 increase to the contactless limit and are now choosing to pay this way for goods and services in store. Unsurprisingly, many consumers are also increasingly reluctant to touch cash or PIN pads when they go to shops which is why innovations that enable a ‘low-touch’ experience, such as contactless payments have really grown in popularity.

The world continues to embrace new payment methods, consumers are always seeking the fastest, safest ways of handling their finances, and this means retailers should be constantly evolving in order to keep up with this fast-paced industry. 

We would like to invite you to follow Alto Global in order to keep up to date in payment methods.

Want to learn more? Check out The Fintech Times’ full write-up here.

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