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Contactless payments increased four-fold in UK in 2013

A new study published by Visa Europe has revealed that contactless payments in the UK increased four-fold in the last 12 months.

Visa described 2013 as an "exceptional" year for the roll out and uptake of contactless payments in the UK, with Visa Europe exceeding its targets for the use of the technology.

Around 30.3 million cards are now in circulation in the UK alone, with 293,600 terminals up and running at various retailers.

Visa Europe believes that improvements in infrastructure and increased education about contactless payments and their benefits are responsible for the significant rise in uptake.

In the year to September 2013, $764 million was spent with Visa contactless cards up from $160 million in the previous year.

The launch of various mobile payment services by financial institutions was also highlighted as a significant improvement by Visa.

The firm went on to note that the early success of mobile payment, the rise of contactless technology and the roll out of Visa's wallet puts the company on track to realise its prediction that 50 per cent of Visa transactions will made be made through a mobile device by 2020.

By Gary Cooper