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Mar 1, 2017
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‘Tap and pay’ transactions reach £288m in the UK in 2016

Published
Mar 1, 2017

Brits paid an estimated £288m using their mobile phones last year, with sandwich shops, grocery stores and pubs driving the growth, followed by the pharmacy and beauty sector.


Google launched its service Android Pay in the UK in September last year - Twitter @Pocketnow


According to a new analysis of consumer spending patterns from Worldpay, the number of mobile transactions as a percentage of all in-store transactions grew by 247% in the past year with the launch of Android Pay in September lifting the number of users.

Unsurprisingly, lunchtime ‘Meal Deal’ hotspots accounted for the majority of all mobile tap and pay transactions (54%) as busy workers took advantage of the convenient service when grabbing lunch on the go. Fashion does not yet appear to be on the tap and pay agenda. Pubs, bars and restaurants made up 20% of the total, while the pharmacy and beauty sector took the third spot with 9% of transactions.

Contactless spending on smartphones peaked in December with Britons using their phones to pay £51 million in retail outlets.

Adoption rates suggest potential for intensification of the service in the UK, however the volume of in-store payments still remains a small fraction of the total, accounting for just 1.18% of all contactless payments.

Meanwhile, spending on all forms of contactless systems, including contactless cards, now accounts for 28% of all non-cash transactions in the UK, with total spend exceeding £10bn for the year in 2016. In December alone, Worldpay processed over £1.5bn in contactless payments with shoppers spending an average of £10.39 per transaction.

“Contactless cards have paved the way for rapid adoption of mobile payment systems, driving investment in infrastructure and familiarity among consumers. Today one in five of us will use the technology at least once a day, rising to a third of people in London,” said James Frost, UK CMO of Worldpay.

“As people get more used to paying for goods on their smartphone, mobile’s ability to bridge more effectively across online and offline retail channels will increasingly threaten the future of the traditional payment card. Already more than half of UK shoppers say they’d happily leave their wallet at home and pay for everything on their smartphone instead.”

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