The total number of contactless transactions
has reached 1m in the UK this year, further cementing the belief
that the technology’s ‘tipping point’ is nearing.

The research, conducted by UK bank Barclays
and its credit card arm Barclaycard, showed a 217% rise in monthly
contactless transactions since the start of the year, with over
150,000 processed in September alone.

The increasing number of contactless-enabled
merchant terminals in the UK has been cited as a catalyst for the
technology reaching the milestone figure.

Stuart Neal, head of payment acceptance at
Barclaycard claims the number of terminals has jumped from 25,000
at the start of the year to 42,500 today. This figure is set to
rise further when grocery retailer Co-operative Food begins its
roll out next year.

“The range of retailers offering contactless
payments has grown significantly, from supermarkets, to restaurants
to coffee shops all offering contactless as a quicker and easier
option for their customers,” said Dan Wass, current accounts
director at Barclays.

“Contactless offers a real alternative for
traditional cash transactions, helping to reduce queues and ending
consumers’ search for the correct change.”

A poll by research company Populus,
commissioned by Barclays and Barclaycard back in June, revealed
queuing times to be a source of dissatisfaction for consumers.

Forty percent of UK consumers said they refuse
to queue for longer than two minutes, and 66 percent regularly
abandon purchases. 51 percent of shoppers said they would not even
enter a store if they saw a queue.

Visa Europe has predicted that the number of
contactless cardholders will reach 12 million in the UK by the end
of the year.