Card spending tipped to double as contactless becomes the norm

Card spending tipped to double as contactless becomes the norm

Global card expenditure is tipped to almost double over the next four years as surging growth in contactless payments continues to push the plastic payment card into the low value cash market.

Payment cards were used for purchases with a value of $25.1 trillion worldwide in 2017, an increase of 13% on the year before, according to RBR in its recent Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2023 research report.

RBR forecasts global card expenditure will grow at an average of 10% per year between 2017 and 2023 to reach $45.2 trillion. The average value of a payment, however, will fall from $67 to $62 over the same period as the influence of contactless cards grows, displacing cash in smaller retailers for goods such as drinks and snacks.

Daniel Dawson, who led RBR’s research project, says: “Consumers worldwide are becoming more comfortable with using their cards for inexpensive goods, especially as contactless cards become commonplace. As they increasingly expect to be able to use contactless cards across the board, the average value of a payment will continue to fall."

The shift to contactless will likely lift all boats, including mobile payments. Apple's Tim Cook recently revealed that more than 1.8bn Apple Pay transactions were conducted in the last quarter of 2018, more than double the volume recorded in the year-ago quarter.

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