UK Reaches 150 Million Contactless Cards in Issue

UK Finance’s Card Spending Update for March 2024 shows that contactless cards now account for 93 per cent of those in issue

UK Finance today releases its card spending data for March 2024, covering the monthly value and volume of transactions across debit and credit cards.
The data shows the number of contactless cards in issue in the UK topped 150 million (150,172,000) for the first time in March 2024. This means that contactless cards now make up 93 per cent of the cards in issue in the UK.
There were 1.59 billion contactless card transactions in March, 5.9 per cent more than in March 2023. Within this total:

  • The number of contactless debit card transactions (1.364 billion) was 5.3 per cent higher than March 2023.
  • The number of contactless credit card transactions (225 million) was 9.3 per cent higher than March 2023.

This means contactless payments accounted for 76 per cent of all debit card transactions and 63 per cent of all credit card transactions made during March 2024.

The total value of contactless transactions was £25.1 billion in March, a 10.2 per cent increase compared to March 2023.

Total spending across all cards, including contactless, online and chip and pin was £75.8 billion and there was a total of 2.2 billion debit and credit card transactions made in the month.

Janine Randolph, Head of Data Management at UK Finance, said:

Contactless cards continue to be a very popular way of consumer spending, whether that’s using a physical card or through a mobile phone. There are over 150 million contactless cards now in issue and across these people spent over £25 billion on them in March alone.