Contactless Payments Surge by 18% between April and May alone, Visa Data Reveals

London, 4 August 2014: The use of contactless cards to make payments has continued to gain monthly momentum in the UK, according to figures released by Visa Europe today.

Consumers made almost 20 million (19.7 million) contactless transactions across the UK in May 2014, an 18% increase on April 2014 alone. More than 37.8 million contactless cards have now been issued by UK banks, a 35% increase on the same period last year.

May 2014 also set a new record for the total value of transactions made by contactless cards in the UK in a single month, reaching £126.7 million, a 14% increase on April 2014. This also indicates a growth of 189% since May 2013.

The average UK transaction value for contactless cards in May 2014 was £6.43. This figure represents a 34 pence per transaction increase since May 2013, where contactless payments averaged £6.09 per transaction.

Visa Europe’s data also shows that in addition to increased usage by consumers and greater issuing of contactless cards from banks, the UK’s top 30 retailers are helping to drive use of the payment method. The top 30 retailers accounted for 67% of all contactless payments in May 2014.

Nick Mackie, Head of Contactless at Visa Europe comments: “Growth in Visa contactless payments is accelerating at a phenomenal pace. Driven by increased consumer awareness, the commitment of UK banks to issue Visa contactless cards and UK retailers activating contactless terminals, Visa contactless payments have reached record highs in the past few months. The pace of growth has been particularly exciting to see, as consumers experience the value, speed and convenience that Visa contactless payments deliver”.

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe. 

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves.

There are 500m Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6.50 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. In the year to September 2013, total expenditure on Visa cards reached €2 trillion, while point-of-sale spend increased by 8.5% to €1.4 trillion. Annual online spending on Visa cards continues to grow (20% year-on-year) and now stands at €240bn.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe.  Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

For more information, please visit visaeurope.com and follow us on Twitter: @VisaEuropeNews.