Contactless connects with UK shoppers

02 Nov 2010 10:34 GMT

Millionth UK contactless transaction made

Latest data from Barclays and Barclaycard reveals 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.[1]

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 queues2. According to the research, two fifths of us refuse to queue for longer than two minutes, and two-thirds of us 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.

Notes to Editors:

[1] VISA Europe press release – July 5 2010

[2] 2000 consumers polled in June 2010 by Populus; research commissioned by Barclays and Barclaycard

About contactless

Contactless payment enables customers to make a purchase of £15 or less without the need to sign or enter a pin. Barclays and Barclaycard are leading the way in introducing contactless and there are now over ten million contactless-enabled Barclaycards and Barclays debit cards, helping retailers reduce queuing and cut the cost of card transactions. In line with its history of providing customers with innovative payment forms, Barclaycard also intends to make payments by mobile phone available to the mass market by 2012.

Barclays and Barclaycard are the leading providers of contactless terminals in the UK with 42,500 live and accepting payment throughout the country for retailers including Prêt A Manger, Subway, Yo! Sushi and EAT.

To find out more about contactless payment, visit or

About Barclaycard

Barclaycard, part of Barclays Bank PLC, is a leading global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, and to access short-term credit and point of sale finance.

The company is a pioneer of new forms of payments and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting edge forms of payment for the future. Barclaycard also partners with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.

Key facts published in February 2014:

  • total number of Barclaycard customers: 35.5m
  • total number of Barclaycard clients: 374,200
  • total payments processed in 2013: £254bn