Consumer spend using mobile payments in the UK increased 365% in 2017


Mobile and wearable payments are rapidly growing in the UK with consumer spending using mobile increasing by 365% in 2017, according to brand new data from Barclays’ Barclaycard. The increase signals a rising demand for consumers wanting to pay faster and more easily.
Meanwhile, spending on wearable devices jumped 129% the year over. Wearable devices embed bPay, which is essentially a payments chip that can be integrated into watches or jewellery.
At the same time, contactless payments using credit and debit cards lifted 79% over one-year measurement period. The touch and go payment technology now accounts for 62% of electronic transaction in the UK up to a spending limit of £30. It further highlights how ubiquitous the technology has become.
Adam Herson, the Business Development Director at Barclaycard Mobile Payments, explained:

“The surge in popularity of wearable and mobile payments creates exciting opportunities for shoppers and brands alike. Consumers can now choose the type of accessory or device they want and match it to their lifestyle or fashion taste, all while enjoying the speed, ease and convenience that contactless brings.”


Among the UK cities with the highest growth rate outside of London were Belfast (60% annual increase in contactless spending), followed by York (59%) and Newcastle upon Tyne (56%).
Among the top industry sectors where contactless payments are being used are railways (235% up), followed by car parks (132%) and retailers (85%).
It should come as no surprise that the travel industries are leading given the speed and convenience the system offers and time is of the essence in travel.

“Barclaycard introduced contactless payments to the UK in 2007, and ever since we’ve been driving the innovation and adoption of the technology. In the last 12 months, we’ve introduced the world’s first contactless car key with DS Automobiles, and we’re also working with many brands to embed bPay chips into everyday products, to allow their customers to pay quickly and easily,” Herson added.

For the future, the report predicts that contactless spending will increase to 317% by 2021.