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Touch and go: one in three payments now made on contactless cards

Card spending jumped to £57.1 billion in June

Use of contactless credit and debit cards has soared by more than 140% in the past year, and accounted for a third of all card payments in June, new data has revealed.

Figures published by UK Finance today revealed that credit and debit card spending jumped to an all-time monthly high in June. Total card spending jumped to £57.1bn in June, up by 0.3% on May and 7% year-on-year.

Almost 1.4bn card payments were made in June, a monthly record high, according to the trade body.

Find out more: how to find the best credit card – see our step-by-step guide

Rise in contactless spending

Despite the record amount of transactions, the average value of UK card payments fell by 16p to £41.36, the lowest level since June 2000.

This is largely driven by an increase in contactless payments being used to make small purchases. There was a 143% growth in contactless payment transactions year-on-year. This payment method accounted for 34% of all card transactions in June.

Meanwhile, online payments jumped by 20% year-on-year. In June, they accounted for 13% of all transactions.

Contactless cards: are they safe to use?

In May, we reported that contactless card fraud had risen by 150% in the past year, with almost £7m lost. This had surged from £2.8m in 2015 and just £148,000 in 2014.

The increase in fraud, however, coincides with the astronomical rise in contactless spending. Financial Fraud Action UK, the body that collects fraud data, said that losses from the cards equated to 2.7p for every £1 2016, which was actually lower than the 3.6p in every £1 lost in 2015.

However, numerous Which? investigations have uncovered problems with contactless card security.

Last year, a number of banks allowed us to go on a contactless card spending spree, spending more than £200 through 10 consecutive payments, without blocking our cards or asking for a Pin number. And in 2015, we managed to steal key details of contactless cards using a device we bought cheaply online.

Incidents of contactless fraud are comparatively low, which means you should feel confident to use them. And victims of fraud should be refunded by their bank, unless it can prove you have acted negligently with your card or Pin.

Find out more: are contactless cards safe? – everything you need to know

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