Figures have revealed contactless payments now account for 18% of sales – up from 7% a year ago.

A report by the UK Cards Association said that contactless transactions were higher in the six months to June than they were for the whole of last year.

The average transaction cost £8.60, the report added.

Shopper makes a contactless payment using a terminal

Making a payment with a contactless payment, RFID, NFC bank card

“Contactless cards are firmly entrenched as the preferred way to pay for millions of consumers, who expect to be able to use them for everyday purchases,” said Richard Koch, head of policy at UK Cards Association.

“We anticipate the use of contactless cars will continue to increase, particularly as charities and transport operators outside London recognise the benefits this technology can bring,” he added.

The use of contactless has been boosted by small retail purchases such as food and drink purchases and public transport.

Cash still remains the most common method of payment.

In the first six months of the year, 1.1 billion transactions were made using contactless cards, up from 1.05 billion in 2015.

Many retailers do not accept contactless payments, despite the one-off spending limit being raised from £20 to £30 last September.

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