Contactless spending has increased by 560 per cent in a year

Contactless spending up 500 per cent in a year

Contactless spending is on the rise, having increased by 560 per cent in the past year, new data from MasterCard has revealed.

The new contactless payment data has been released ahead of the planned increase of the contactless payment limit from £20 to £30 for a single transaction, taking effect on September1 2015. The limit increase is likely to provide a further boost to adoption of the technology.

According to MasterCard, the number of times cardholders use contactless technology to pay for their items has been doubling every year since 2012.

The technology allows users to pay for items by a single tap of the card on a reader without the need to insert a PIN code.

Despite concerns hackers could eavesdrop on contactless data transmission and steal sensitive data, contactless technology is considered to be one of the safest forms of card payments.

Last year, the total annual contactless fraud loss was £153,000 while some £2.32bn has been spent using the technology. This equates to 0.7p in every £100 spent on contactless.

By comparison, total fraud losses across all card forms represented 7.5p in every £100 spent.

"Contactless payments use the same robust technology as chip and PIN and contactless cards have a range of additional security features built in to keep customers protected,” said Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association.

"Fraud on contactless cards is extremely low, at less than one penny in every hundred pounds spent, and anyone who is a victim of fraud will get their money back."

Barclaycard has also released its analysis of contactless payment trends, which found shoppers are most likely to use contactless payment in supermarkets, followed by restaurants and on public transport.

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