Visa Europe has said that the UK’s appetite for contactless payments using NFC-enabled cards and phones has exploded in the last 12 months, with the average purchase across the year equating to £6.65.

The payments processor, which is owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 36 countries across Europe, said that in the UK 51 million contactless payments were made, and that a total of £338 million had been spent. In June alone, there was a five-fold increase in the amount spent in the UK on contactless payments, totalling £45.2 million across 6.8 million purchases.

In the UK, retailers such as M&S, McDonalds, Pret A Manger, Boots, Co-Op, WHSmith, Starbucks and Costcutter (among others) all accept contactless payments.

Visa Europe added that more than 3 million contactless journeys on London’s public transport network since December 2012. Across Europe as a whole, contactless payments accounted for  €1.5 billion across 187 million purchases.

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