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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.

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