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Covid19 and the rise of contactless card payments

19th Feb 2021

Coronavirus has not only changed life as we know it, it has also changed the way we spend our money.

Consumers want easy, simple and fast payments methods and in 2020, contactless payments accounted for 88.6% of total card payments, according to Barclaycard. The rise in contactless payments is said to be over fears of virus transmissions and businesses employing new rules around transactions.

With rules on contact-based payments driving an increase in the use of contactless card payments, whether that be via debit cards, credit cards, phones and even smart watches, the UK has seen the limit able to spend in one transaction being increased to £45. The Financial Conduct Authority has recognised this changing behaviour in how people pay, and will shortly be seeking views on amending the contactless limit even further, to that of £100.

Although many shops were closed for lengthy periods throughout the lockdowns in the UK, the total value of contactless payments increased by 7% in 2020 compared to 2019, and there was a 29% increase in the use of contactless in UK supermarkets.

Barclaycard also reported that users made 141 payments using contactless in 2020 on average, which was worth an average of £1,640 in total.

Although this is not new revolutionary technology, Covid19 and the measures put in place to help control the spread have undoubtedly increased the demand for more contactless payment options and E-commerce solutions when purchasing goods and services. It is no longer just an option to have these payment facilities, it is a crucial requirement.

As a result we are seeing more and more businesses reviewing their card payment providers, to ensure they have the technology and commercial deal that’s right for them. At CNG Switch, we can help you find the right card processing partner and terminal for you, call us on 0333 2200 420 or email

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