Contactless payments are gathering pace, with the number of contactless POS terminals in the UK predicted to rise by 50% to 150,000 this year, claims Dr. Chandra Patni, CEO of global card payments service company YESpay.

"With Visa’s PayWave; MasterCard’s PayPass and American Express’s Express Pay out in the market, contactless payments are certainly rising," he said

“There are more than 18 million dual contact and contactless technology cards already in circulation by issuers so we can say more than one in every eight cards is a contactless card as of today so we expect more and more contactless card payments in the coming years."

Patni said contactless payments have created a big buzz in the payments industry at large. Merchants that accept contactless payments in the UK as of today include McDonald’s UK, Boots, Subway, Pret a Manger, 7-Eleven and Regal Theaters. Selected outlets of Burger King and Clinton Cards also accept contactless payments. Greggs The Bakers is going contactless at its 1,500 shops. Larger retailers like WH Smith and Tesco will also offer contactless payments services soon.

"Contactless payments have gained significant momentum in the marketplace due to the array of benefits they offer to customers as well as retailers," said Patni, listing them as follows:

speed and convenience - customers no longer need to carry cash for lower-value transactions;

increased transaction volumes for financial institutions and retailers by capturing transactions typically made using cash;

enhanced customer loyalty and retention for retailers; use of international standard ISO/IEC14443 for contactless communications and EMV standards backed by the major payment brands – MasterCard and Visa;

higher throughput and increased spend per transaction for merchants;

plus security measures have been incorporated to mitigate risks and shift liability to the issuers.