Britons have spent more than £2bn using Visa cards on Black Friday 2016, a 13% increase compared to the previous year, according to the figures released by Visa.
The payment technology firm said that whether it is online or in-store purchase, shoppers are foregoing cash, opting for contactless cards and new payment methods due to their speed and convenience.
Citing its 2016 Digital Payments Study, Visa said that contactless uptake across Europe has increased from 36% in 2015 to 52% in 2016. This trend is visible across all age demographics, the greatest increase within the 55-64 age group, which has witnessed 64% growth since 2015.
Adoption of contactless cards has greatly impacted other payment methods. The study highlighted that the contactless card users are more open to using a mobile device as a payment method in a shop (52% contactless card user vs 32% non-contactless card user), to shop through a retailer app (49% vs 31%) and to pay for a meal (50% vs 30%), across Europe.
In 2016, nearly 44% of the people who participated in Visa survey across Europe reported using mobile payment apps, up from 38% last year. Nearly half (46%) agreed that having the option of paying using their mobile or wearable device has made it easier to buy the items they need.
European consumers are interested in using digital wallets to make purchases face-to-face (37%), through apps (51%), as well as online (56%). Consumers agreed that greater convenience (61%) and the ability to pay anytime, anywhere (59%), were the primary benefits.
Despite the rise on online Christmas sales, physical stores continue to be an integral part of shoppers’ behaviour. Nearly 60% of consumers still enjoy the experience of interacting with staff and seeing the potential gift in person.
Visa managing director for UK and Ireland Kevin Jenkins said: “With more than £2bn being spent on Visa cards in the UK on Black Friday, we continue to see an increase in the shift from cash to cards when people do their Christmas shopping. This is driven by British consumers’ increased familiarity with contactless cards and other new digital payment services.
“Consumers are now armed with a variety of new ways to pay – such as wearables and a range of digital wallet options on their mobile devices. These options provide consumers shopping in store with a number of fast, easy and secure ways to buy.
“This Christmas will see a host of different methods used to pay for the gifts under the tree, celebratory drinks with friends, and even the Christmas turkey.”