24 January 2017

The evolution of payments – 2016 review

2 minute read

  • In 2016 contactless cards in circulation in the UK exceeded 100 million
  • In September, there were almost 31 million logins to our mobile banking app (up 43% from the previous year)
  • On Black Friday, e-commerce transactions jumping by over 66%.

2016 was the year that saw the number of contactless cards in circulation in the UK exceed 100 million and contactless payment now accounts for 1 in 4 of all card transactions at Nationwide … in January 2015, it was 1 in 20. 

It’s such a quick and easy way to pay, perhaps it’s no surprise it’s taken off with such speed. To celebrate the success of contactless, we set ourselves the goal of making the highest ever contactless payment … and succeeded, despite a whole range of foreseen and unforeseen technical challenges; including temperatures of -30 degrees. 

Last year also saw the launch of Android Pay and growing usage of digital and mobile payments, with increasing numbers of consumers shopping online, and this was particularly evident in the run up to Christmas. 

Black Friday is not just big in the US anymore, it’s taken off over here but interestingly it seems that retailers and consumers alike have been increasingly focusing on online shopping, with e-commerce transactions jumping by over 66% when compared to an average day and accounting for around half of all transactions on Black Friday itself. I have to say shopping from the comfort of one’s sofa beats fighting for parking and spending time queuing!

2016 also saw more and more of our members embracing mobile and internet banking to manage their finances and keep track of spending. In September, there were almost 31 million logins to our mobile banking app (up 43% from the previous year), and over 13 million to our internet bank (up 5% from the previous year). For many of our customers mobile banking is almost becoming a ‘rolling statement’ with digitally active customers, logging into the app on an almost daily basis over a month (on average over 25 times during a month).

I think 2017 will be an exciting period for payments as we see the continued development of new technology, from new ways to authenticate payments with biometric technology, like fingerprint or voice recognition and increasing use of digital and mobile payment services such as Paym as customers embrace the convenience of this technology. 

More traditional ways of paying will also be getting a makeover, with the introduction of the new £1 coin in March 2017 with cutting edge technology making it more resilient against counterfeiting.

About the author

Paul Horlock

Paul Horlock is Head of Payments and represents Nationwide on the Payments UK Board.

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