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UK goes contactless payment mad



Contactless payments tripled in the UK in 2015, it has emerged.

While mobile payment systems such as Android Pay and Samsung Pay have taken their sweet time reaching the UK (the latter still isn't here), the country has seriously taken to contactless payment systems in general.

Payments UK, which represents the country's major banks, has released figures suggesting we're heading for a cashless society.

As relayed by The Guardian, the UK will be a predominantly card and contactless-driven society by 2021. But it's the rise of contactless payments systems that's of real interest here.

Contactless payments in 2015 were three times higher than they were in 2014, which translates to more than a billion tap-to-pay transactions.

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That figure is set to grow further in 2016, with one in six card purchases now made using contactless systems rather than the traditional swipe-and-PIN system.

Interestingly, Barclays claims that the biggest increase in contactless payments can be attributed to British over-60s, with a 116 percent increase in 2015.

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If you're a Brit who's feeling a little smug about your country's tech progressiveness right now, here's a figure to bring you down to Earth. There were 546 million cheques written in the country in 2015, despite the fact that most retailers refuse to accept them.


May 23, 2016, 2:07 pm

I used EE cash on tap when it first launched 3 years ago... and installed Android Pay on it's first day in the UK last week (it is not very reliable at the till though). I much prefer touching a plastic card to a reader than a glass backed £550 phone though. So I am cashless as much as possible (and I get kick backs for using the "card" over cash). Those left using cash will increasingly become interesting to the authorities... as people using electronic payments will be legitimate spending of legitimate money... those using cash will (as a proportion) be increasingly "black market" shopping using money that was not "fully declared for tax" (for whatever reasons) and thus those using cash will be increasingly seen as suspicious!


May 23, 2016, 8:03 pm

How will the "authorities" know if you are spending cash? The whole point is that it is anonymous (or were you being sarcastic?).


May 24, 2016, 2:02 pm

simple... reverse the data.... suddenly people show as inactive.. when stopped by police (for any detanable reason and the police do a quick once over as they do) they have receipts that say cash not via auditable traceable card.. they become people of interest

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