New data from UK finance has outlined the significant growth in average spend for contactless transactions in the UK. 

Off the back of the increase in the contactless payment to £100, by December 2021 contactless card transactions increased by nearly 30 per cent. 

In September, prior to the contactless limit increase, the average spend per contactless payment was £11.86, which increased to £15.30 in December.  

The increased limit came into effect on 15 October, but it took some time for retailers and payment providers to update their systems and offer the new £100 limit, which meant that the increase in the average payment did not show up immediately.. 

It was an increase enabled by the UK’s departure from the European Union – with the country no longer being tied to the regulatory framework of the union. 

In total, as the pandemic elevated the engagement of contactless payments, the data revealed 13.1 billion contactless payments were made in the year – equivalent to 415 transactions every second. 

Lee Hopley, Director of Economic Insight and Research at UK Finance, commented: ”These figures show the continued popularity of contactless payments, as well as the fact people are making higher value payments. 

“From October last year, the new £100 limit was rolled out and it gives customers greater choice about how they pay for things like their weekly shop or a tank of fuel.

“For 2021 as a whole there were over 13 billion contactless transactions, which was a significant increase on the previous year, and in December a record 69 per cent of all debit card payments were contactless purchases.” 

Expert Analysis: The pandemic has truly underlined the importance of contactless payments in the UK, and as the country continues to free up its regulatory framework, the evidence suggests that consumers are only likely to continue embracing contactless payments.