Small businesses could increase their profits by accepting contactless payments, after the spending limit was recently raised from £20 to £30, allowing customers to quickly purchase items from small retailers.
As the popularity of contactless payments increases in the United Kingdom, payment terminals across the country are being adjusted to accept Near Field Communication (NFC) payments of up to £30, allowing consumers greater freedom and accessibility when paying for everyday goods and services.
The UK Cards Association, the trade body for the card payments industry in the UK, estimates that the UK is quickly becoming a cashless society, with SMEs expecting to accept contactless payments.
During 2015, contactless payment figures have skyrocketed. The trade body has found that spending via a contactless card has risen from £287m per month in January 2015 to £567m in June of this year.
In total, £2.5 billion has been spent within the first six months of 2015 using a contactless device.
This figure shows that contactless payments are really picking up, as throughout 2014 only £2.32 billion was spent using contactless cards.
More choice for consumers
Now that the UK has caught on to the rising trend of contactless payments, more and more shops are making the method available for their customers.
Graham Peacop, chief executive officer of the UK Cards Association has welcomed the limit increase.
‘‘Contactless payments are fast, easy and secure. With more contactless cards in wallets than ever before and a growing number of retailers accepting contactless payments, we have seen a huge rise in the number of payments being made.’’
‘‘The growth in contactless payments shows people want to use contactless cards and increasing the limit gives customers even more opportunities to pay in this way,’’ continued Peacop.
The family food shop could become a lot easier with the new change. According to research from Barclaycard, Brits pay contactless most often at supermarkets, followed by restaurants and on commuter transport.
With the average food shop costing £25.17, parents and commuters will now be able to shave some time off their busy schedule using a contactless card.
The UK Cards Association has also created a guide specifically for SMEs and retailers, helping them accept contactless and higher value payments.
With more than 69 million contactless cards in circulation, the cards payments industry took it upon themselves to raise the spending limit in order to make it easier for British consumers. Some of the world’s biggest payment institutions have embraced the payment change.
‘‘Contactless is becoming the ‘new normal’ as everyday Britons embrace the speed, convenience and safety of touch-to-pay technology,’’ commented Kevin Jenkins, managing director UK and Ireland at Visa Europe.
‘‘We’ve seen unprecedented growth in this area, with the number of Visa contactless transactions more than trebling in the past year in the UK.’’
‘‘Today’s threshold increase to £30 gives consumers all the benefits of contactless across a broader range of their daily activities, and we expect to see this momentum continue to build as more people adopt mobile and wearable payment technology.’’