SMEs urged to keep pace with contactless spending

8th September 2015

Over £2.5 billion was spent using contactless cards in the first half of 2015 and SMEs are being urged to keep up with the changes in spending habits.

That’s according to new data from the UK Cards Association, the trade body for the cards payment industry, which showed contactless spending has soared from £287 million per month in January 2015 to £567 million in June 2015.

This month, the upper limit for contactless payments has been increased to £30 in recognition of the popularity of contactless spending, as the number of contactless cards in circulation grows.

Payment terminals in shops are set to be updated to accept the new £30 limit in the coming weeks and SMEs must adapt to take advantage of this trend, according to Jason Richelson, CEO, ShopKeep.

“This should be viewed as an opportunity for small businesses, not a hinderance,” said Richelson.

“It’s crucial that small business owners have a strategy in place that will allow them to effectively adapt to this change in spending habits. Contactless is here to stay.”

The new £30 contactless limit now means that the average spend in shops, such as supermarkets, public houses, gift shops and dry cleaners, now fall within the limit.

Graham Peacop, CEO, the UK Cards Association, said: “The growth in contactless payments shows people want to use contactless cards and increasing the limit gives customers even more opportunities to pay in this way.”

Contactless cards utilise secure encryption technology in the same way as Chip and PIN. Subsequently fraud on contactless cards now equates to one penny for every pound spent.

Kevin Jenkins, managing director, UK & Ireland, Visa Europe, said: “Contactless is becoming the new normal. Today’s threshold increase to £30 gives consumers all the benefits of contactless across a broader range of their daily activities.

“We expect to see this momentum continue to build as more people adopt mobile and wearable payment technology.”




Image: Mike Mozart

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