temple-bar-dublinWorkers grabbing lunch on the go, and paying for drinks at the bar are behind a surge in mobile contactless payments according to the latest spending data from Worldpay, the UK’s largest payments processor.According to Worldpay’s analysis of consumer spending patterns, the total number of contactless transactions where a mobile device was used reached 38 million by the end of 2016 with the total amount spent topping £288 million*. The number of mobile transactions as a percentage of all in-store transactions has grown by 247 per cent in the past year, with a notable lift-off in adoption following the launch of Android Pay in September.

Lunchtime ‘Meal Deal’ hotspots, including supermarkets and grocery stores accounted for 54 per cent of all mobile tap and pay transactions processed by Worldpay in 2016, while pubs, bars and restaurants made up 20 per cent of the total. It’s not just light bites post work pints that are driving mobile contactless spending however, with 9 per cent of transactions taking place in the pharmacy and beauty sector.

Londoners set the pace in terms of adoption of the technology, with 32 per cent of all transactions taking place within the M25. Shoppers in the South East accounted for 14 per cent of total spend on contactless enabled mobile devices, while the East of England and the North West each made up 8 per cent of the total number of mobile tap and pay transactions processed by Worldpay.

Contactless spending on mobile devices peaked in December, when the amount spent using NFC enabled smartphones topped £51 million. And although the volume of in-store payments remains a small fraction of the total (1.18 per cent), adoption rates suggest the technology is quickly gaining a foothold in the ‘tap and pay’ market.

Spending on all forms of contactless systems now accounts for 28 per cent of all non-cash transactions in the UK, with total spend exceeding £10bn for the year in 2016. In December alone, Worldpay processed over £1.5bn in contactless payments with shoppers spending an average of £10.39 per transaction.

James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, said: “Contactless cards have paved the way for rapid adoption of mobile payment systems, driving investment in infrastructure and familiarity among consumers. Today one in five of us will use the technology at least once a day, rising to a third of people in London.

“As people get more used to paying for goods on their smartphone, mobile’s ability to bridge more effectively across online and offline retail channels will increasingly threaten the future of the traditional payment card. Already more than half of UK shoppers say they’d happily leave their wallet at home and pay for everything on their smartphone instead.”

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