Once every few years, technological advances have huge impacts on businesses and their customers. Debit cards became popular in the 1980s and 90s, saving people from carrying large amounts of cash in order to make purchases. Personal Identification Number (PIN) replaced the need for a signature on every card transaction and increased security. Now, contactless payments have surged in popularity, making paying for goods and services even easier. Whether you’re getting breakfast at the Cereal Killer Cafe or selling goods at Spitalfields market, the whole process takes just a few seconds.

Transactions at the touch of a button

There are now many ways to complete a transaction without having your credit or debit card to hand. Solutions like ApplePay or GooglePay can complete payments with just your mobile phone or smartwatch while online wallets add an extra layer of security online.

 

PayPal has become the industry leader, processing 12.4 billion payments in 2019. Part of the reason they are so popular is that you don’t have to provide your bank details. For most transactions you only need your email address and password in order to make a purchase, making it a popular choice with both customers and retailers. There are now millions of businesses from sole traders, e-commerce shops like Amazon and eBay, and video gaming platforms like Steam to iGaming companies. Steam – one of the largest gaming platforms in the World, allows PayPal deposits for their Wallet service as well as for buying games. Same things apply for casino sites, as there are a number of reputable iGaming providers that saw the advantages of providing PayPal as a payment option. There are many casinos that accept PayPal for depositing and withdrawing funds.

Lifting the limits on contactless

Originally, the cap on contactless payments was £10 back in 2007 when the technology was first introduced. Ideal if you were buying a small value single item but hardly likely to cover two alcoholic drinks in Shoreditch. That rose to £20 in September 2015, when the technology really took off as more banks issued the cards as standard to their customers. Contactless payments are currently capped at £30 per transaction, which makes them feasible for plenty more purchases. From April 1st 2020 though, this limit will rise again to £45 making them even more useful.

 

There’s still no limit placed on the number of contactless payments you can make in any one day. However, your bank or financial institution may ask you to verify a purchase via your PIN number every now and again, especially if they suspect any fraudulent activity. Banks also require a PIN transaction before they authorise a new card for contactless payments.

How contactless payments have grown in popularity

For many people, using a contactless system has become the norm. During the month of June 2016 Statistica reported there were a total of 218.8 million contactless payments made in the United Kingdom. As of October 2019, that number had risen to 761 million. That’s a staggering 247.8% change in just over three years and it’s reasonable to expect it to rise even further in the future too. Especially given that there are now more than 84 million cards in the UK capable of making these transactions. Visa and Mastercard now require all card machines to accept contactless payments too, as of this year.

London has been at the heart of the contactless revolution. Businesses of all sizes are making it faster, easier and safer for their customers to make payments. The introduction of contactless payments by Transport for London in 2014 was a game changer. In the first 6 months of the scheme being active, more than 60 million journeys were made. With fewer of us carrying any cash at all, these payments are being applied to every industry and situation. Londoners can donate to the homeless via contactless as of 2018 after Mayor Sadiq Khan introduced a scheme that will automatically debit £3 to go towards projects throughout the city.