Spending in bars and pubs using contactless payments has nearly doubled since the limit was lifted from £20 to £20 in September, according to new Barclaycard data.
It rose by 92% year on year, more than almost every other channel. In supermarkets and fast-food outlets, it was up by 62% and in restaurants by 51% over the same period since September.
Overall, 83% of consumers use less cash than they did a year ago with 19% saying they are annoyed if they cannot pay using contactless cards or devices.
Contactless payments now account for one in 10 card transactions, with contactless spend nearing £1bn a month. The Barclaycard research showed that 34% of merchants now accepted contactless.
Barclaycard concludes that, with contactless now the preferred payment method for almost half of consumers, a significant opportunity exists for the two-thirds of merchants who do not currently accept contactless.
Its survey found that 58% of merchants said that customers were using mobiles and wearable devices more often to pay for goods and services. This suggests growth for newer payment methods such as Barclaycard’s bPay wearable devices which include a wristband, fob and a sticker and can be used to make contactless payments at more than 300,000 terminals across the UK.
Early this year Barclaycard will become the first financial services brand to launch high-value payments on Android devices, expanding the functionality of its mobile app to include contactless mobile payments. Barclaycard customers using this new feature will be able to make contactless payments for transactions up to £30 and, for the first time, will be able to make high-value contactless payments of up to £100 by entering their PIN on their mobile device.
Barclaycard managing director Paul Lockstone said: “In 2015 we’ve seen contactless become an even more popular way to pay for small transactions, so much so that we can even get frustrated if a retailer doesn’t offer ‘touch and go’ as an option.
“As the consumer appetite for new ways to pay continues to grow, particularly with the upcoming launch of high-value payments and the continuing growth in wearable payment devices, we’re expecting 2016 to be another recording-breaking year for contactless.”