More than 40% of all debit and credit transactions in the UK were processed using contactless technology last year, according to data released by banking trade body UK Finance.
Last year, a total of nearly 7.4 billion contactless transactions were made, an increase of 31% compared to 2017.
The surge in contactless payments was primarily attributed to growing adoption of this technology on public transport and retailers.
Currently, limit for contactless payment without entering a four-digit Pin stands at £30 in the UK. A PIN must be used for transactions over this limit. However, the average spend on any transactions using debit or credit card was £35.
In December last year, contactless transaction accounted for 691 million or 43% of the total 1.6 billion debit and credit card transactions carried out.
Last year, Britons spent £584bn using debit cards, a rise of 3.7% compared to 2017. Whereas, the total credit card spending totaled £192bn, an increase of 7.8%.
UK Finance MD of personal finance Eric Leenders said: “Many of us are now reaching for our cards or mobiles rather than cash to make low-value purchases, as customers opt for the convenience and security of paying with contactless.
“There has also been an increase in credit card use although growth in outstanding balances has slowed, suggesting many consumers are using their cards for day-to-day spending rather than as a means of borrowing.”