Monthly contactless card spend tops £100m and NFC SIM shipments boom
NFC payments has made a huge step forward with news that monthly spending on contactless cards has exceeded £100 million for the first time, according to data published on 29 April 2014 by The UK Cards Association, and that78 million NFC enabled SIM cards were shipped in 2013 globally showing that consumers appear ready to make the NFC leap.
The new figures from the UK Card Association show that UK consumers spent a record £109.2 million using their contactless cards during March 2014, up by £22.2 million since February and by over 200 per cent since the same month last year. More than 370 contactless transactions are now made every minute in the UK – six every second. The number of monthly transactions has more than tripled in a year.
The SIMAlliance meanwhile suggests that shipments of NFC SIMs rose by 159% to 78 million, with the biggest orders coming from Japan/Korea (37 million shipments). North America hit 24 million shipments.
But the number of SIMs still lags the number of NFC-enabled phones. Analyst IHS says NFC was in 275 million units in 2013, up 128% from 120 million in 2012. Meanwhile Berg Insights has estimated that 53% of the world’s POS terminals will be NFC ready by 2017.
But despite this, the UK Cards Association finds that there is still a hunger for NFC payments on cards – which is a start. Its study shows that there are more than 42.4 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK, with approximately 1 in 3 cardholders currently having a contactless card. The average value of a contactless transaction in £6.46. Consumers can use a contactless card to pay for purchases up to £20 simply by touching their card against the contactless reader.
Graham Peacop, Managing Director of The UK Cards Association, said: "Contactless technology is a fast, easy and secure way to pay by card. Whether it’s to buy a cup of coffee or pay for a trip on the bus, today’s figures show that consumers are voting with their wallets and find contactless cards a very convenient way to pay.”
The figures are backed up by WorldPay, which in total has carried more than 61 million contactless payments with a total cash value of £433 million over its network.
Worldpay UK’s chief marketing officer James Frost says: “We’ve been championing contactless since day one, so this announcement from The UK Cards Association simply reconfirms the surge we’ve already seen in consumer confidence – which has seen average sale size grow 27% in just two years. If you’re a business regularly taking payments of £20 or less, contactless is a must. You can serve customers quicker, cut down queues and never miss a sale during peak times. That’s why we helped over 70 large retailers move to contactless last year.
Contactless cards use the same secure encryption technology as Chip & PIN so consumers can be fully confident in the security of the technology. Payments can only take place where the card is placed within a few centimetres of the card reader. To make sure you pay using the right card, it's always a good idea to take your contactless card out of your wallet to touch the reader.
For added protection from fraud, from time to time, cardholders will be asked to enter their PIN to verify a transaction. Instances of fraud on contactless cards are extremely rare, however if a card is lost or stolen, consumers are protected against fraud loss - they will not be liable for any fraudulent use and should report it to their card issuer as soon as possible.