Finance & Economics

UK contactless payments accounted for over a quarter in 2020

Amid the coronacrisis, the figures are expected to keep growing


UK contactless payments accounted for over a quarter in 2020. Source:

According to UK 2021 Payment Markets Report, by the end of 2020, around 17.3 million people, or nearly a third of adult consumers in the UK, had registered to use their smartphones or smartwatches to make mobile payments in stores. The report also shows that the number of contactless payments made in the UK increased by 12% to 9.6 billion. Besides, it accounted for more than a quarter (27%) of all transactions made in 2020.

Over the past four years, contactless payments have grown from 7% of all payments to 27%. Meanwhile, 83% of people in the UK now use contactless services, with no age group or region falling below 75%. What’s more, in 2020, supermarkets were the most popular place to use contactless payments, accounting for 41% of contactless payments.

The report notes that while contactless payments are widely used across different age groups, there is now a noticeable difference in the use of mobile payments.

In 2020, just over 50% of people between the ages of 16 and 34 were signed up for mobile payments, compared with 11% of people over 65. By comparison, the number of cash payments made in the UK fell by 35% during 2020 and accounted for 17% of all payments made in the country.

We’ve reported that UK withdraws paper £20 and £50.


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