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Value of contactless card transactions doubled since limit raised

Written by: Emma Lunn
The total value of contactless transactions made in the UK in February this year was twice the value of previous years, after the increase in the contactless limit.

UK and overseas cardholders spent £16.7bn in contactless transactions in February 2022, a 102.6% increase on £8.3bn in February 2021 and 99.1% increase on £8.4bn in February 2020, according to UK Finance.

The figures have been published as part of the trade body’s card spending update for February 2022.

The trade body noted that annual data comparisons have been impacted by the reduction of spending due to various lockdown restrictions and the economy re-opening, resulting in large percentage variations when compared to 2021. Therefore, comparisons with February 2020 have therefore been included to the latest report to provide additional context.

The contactless card limit was upped from £45 to £100 in October 2021.

UK Finance found that contactless payments accounted for 57% of all credit card and 71% of all debit card transactions in February.

There were 1.2 billion contactless card transactions in February 2022, 76.3% more than the 668 million in February 2021 and 32.4% more than the 889 million in February 2020.

The number of contactless credit card transactions was 109.4% higher than February 2021 and 23.3% higher than February 2020. The number of contactless debit card transactions was 72.1% higher than February 2021 and 33.9% higher than February 2020.

Brits made 1.7 billion debit card transactions in February 2022, 32.9% more than in February 2021 and 15.1% more than February 2020, according to UK Finance.

The total debit card spend of £54.5bn made by UK cardholders in both the UK and overseas in February 2022 was 11% higher than February 2021 and 5.4% higher than February 2020.

There were 284.1 million credit card transactions in February 2022, 40.1% more than in February 2021 and 2.8% more than February 2020.

The total credit card spend of £15.8bn was 43.8% higher than February 2021 and 0.7% higher than in February 2020.

According to UK Finance, outstanding balances on credit card accounts have grown by 6.5% over the 12 months to February.

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