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Contactless payments could kill off cash in just 5 years following record growth

Payment products provider Visa is riding the crest of a contactless payments wave in Europe after the firm reported a 250 per cent surge in transactions across the UK.

Recent growth in the industry has seen the total share of contactless payments rise from just 1 in 25 a year ago to 1 in seven today – with no sign of the growth abating.

Contactless payment demand has been driven in no small part by Transport for London with commuters in the capital notching up 1m transactions between them each and every day.

Overall Visa recorded a 9.6 per cent increase in UK point-of-sale spend in Britain for the financial year to June 2015, with the number of transactions edging into double digit growth territory with an 11.5 per cent increase.

UK and Ireland MD Kevin Jenkins said: “In the UK, contactless has become the 'new normal'. At this rate, cash will be seen as a peculiar way of paying for things in as little as five years’ time.

“Mobile payments will accelerate this change and we’ve invested in the infrastructure for it to take off. Almost 460,000 terminals across all of the UK are now ready for face-to-face contactless and mobile payments.

“From here on, every acceptance device that’s ever installed or upgraded will be contactless as standard. We’ve also launched a tokenisation service that supported Apple Pay’s debut in the UK, and is set to become the basis for more payment products and solutions in the months and years ahead.”

Across Europe as a whole the firm enjoyed record revenues of £1.75bn – a 25 per cent year-on-year improvement.

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