UK Finance reveals 93% of all UK cards are now contactless

Customer using credit card for payment to owner at cafe restaurant.
Editorial credit: Nattakorn_Maneerat /

UK Finance‘s Card Spending Update for March 2024 indicates a continued rise in the number of issued contactless cards and their usage.

UK Finance’s data shows that the number of contactless cards issued in the UK topped 150 million for the first time in March 2024, meaning that contactless cards now make up 93% of  payment cards in the region.

Janine Randolph, Head of Data Management at UK Finance, said: “Contactless cards continue to be a very popular way of consumer spending, whether that’s using a physical card or through a mobile phone. There are over 150 million contactless cards now in issue and across these people spent over £25bn on them in March alone.”

In March, there were 1.59 billion contactless card transactions, marking a 5.9% increase compared to March 2023. Specifically, contactless debit card transactions reached 1.364 billion, up by 5.3% from the previous year, while contactless credit card transactions totalled 225 million, showing a 9.3% increase compared to March 2023.

This signifies that contactless payments comprised 76% of all debit card transactions and 63% of all credit card transactions conducted in March 2024.

Furthermore, the total value of contactless transactions in March reached £25.1bn, marking a 10.2% rise from March 2023. Overall card spending, including contactless, online and chip-and-pin transactions, amounted to £75.8bn. During the month, a total of 2.2 billion debit and credit card transactions were recorded.

Just like contactless has taken the UK by storm, earlier this month UK Finance highlighted the policies it believes the next government should pursue for the country’s financial services sector.