The amount of money spent on contactless cards in the UK each month has passed £2bn for the first time.

Contactless payments in July totalled £2.1bn as the number of contactless transactions grew by almost 10% to reach 240m.

Nearly a fifth (19%) of all card payments made in July were made using contactless technology.

Contactless spending in July was more than three times higher than the same period last year

Richard Koch, head of policy, The UK Cards Association
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On average, each contactless transaction is worth £8.76 – an increase of more than a pound since October 2015, when the figure was £7.72.

And the number of bank-owned terminals at which cardholders can make a contactless payment had increased by 0.8% in July compared to June – and by 45.6% over the year.

The figures, released yesterday by The UK Cards Association, show a rapid increase in the popularity of contactless spending.

Since the increase of the contactless payment limit from £20 to £30 in September 2015, monthly spending has hit multiple milestones – passing £1bn for the first time in November 2015 and reaching £1.5bn in March 2016.

In the first six months of 2016, contactless payments came to £9.27bn. 

Richard Koch, head of policy at The UK Cards Association, said: “Consumers’ adoption of contactless continues apace, with the number of contactless payments jumping by a tenth in just one month. 

“At over £2bn, contactless spending in July was more than three times higher than the same period last year.” 

Total card spending increased to a monthly record of £53.9bn in July, with debit cards accounting for the majority of the rise. There were over 1.2bn card purchases in the month.

Hotels saw the largest increase in overall card spending between June and July, up 25% to £2.1bn, as the lower value of the pound likely encouraged a greater number of domestic and international travellers. 

The value of card spending on foreign currency and traveller’s cheques registered a significant decrease between June and July, falling by 14% to £807m. 

This follows on from an increase of 27% to £935m between May and June. 

The UK Cards Association said retail sector spending increased by £185m to £25.1bn in July, while service sector spending rose by £286m to £28.8bn. 

The debit and credit card share of total retail sales was 77.5% in July.