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UK holiday-makers leading the global growth of contactless

Summer spending switching to contactless for smaller transactions

first direct has seen a significant increase in the rise of overseas contactless transactions made by UK customers this summer, as the rest of the world catches up with the contactless revolution.

first directdata shows a 14% increase in the number of contactless transactions made by customers while in Europe this summer (with a 5% increase in the rest of the world)*.

While the total value of all point of sale transactions increased only slightly (4% increase), due to the growing impact of contactless payments the average value per transaction has fallen by 10%.

The average amount spent by first direct customers making overseas point of sale transactions this summer was £52, a drop from £58 in 2017.

Joe Gordon, Head of first direct , said: “The UK has long led the way with the adoption of contactless technology, and our customers appreciate the convenience and security it offers.

The rest of the world – particularly European countries – are now embracing the cashless economy, and Brits are increasingly turning to contactless for all the small day-to-day purchases we make while on holiday.”

Using your card abroad

If you are traveling abroad, you can use your contactless card or device wherever the retailer is displaying the Contactless Symbol below.

The current contactless transaction limits vary in different countries. For example, in the UK the limit is £30, but the equivalent limit is €25 (£18) in France, $100 (£48) in Canada, and $100 (£45) in Australia.

People need to remember they may also be charged for making a foreign payment using their card, whether it’s for a contactless payment or for a chip & PIN payment.