new report by UK merchant service provider, Paymentsense, reveals that 81% of all transactions are now made via contactless cards in Dartford. This places the Kent town 16th in the ranking for places most embracing contactless. The top three being Brighton in third place at 82% (but with a 12% YoY increase), Halifax in second with 84%, behind leader St Albans, at 86%.

Following a 60% decrease in the use of cash machines in April 2020, Paymentsense analysed their unique data over the last 6 months to find out which UK cities used cash the least.

The data also found which cities preferred contactless and digital payments the most, and which cities had the highest year-on-year (YoY) increase in these payment methods. 

The findings have been mapped and the UK’s Capital of Contactless Card payments is ready to be revealed.

Dartford in the TOP UK cities with the highest % uptake of contactless credit and debit cards

spending table 1 | Dartford Living

Data collected by Paymentsense.

The study reveals that Dartford is one of the UK’s Card Payment Capitals for an exponential increase in the use of contactless. 81% of payments in Dartford were made by contactless cards since the Covid-19 pandemic began, with a significant YoY increase of 8%. 

St Albans was top with 86% of payments proving contactless (+19% YoY), with Halifax in second, boasting 84% of cash-free transactions (+13% YoY).

An overwhelming 79% of Brits are estimated to own a smartphone. So, with Covid causing businesses to refuse cash, digital contactless payment technologies like Apple and Google pay are on the up. Dartford residents weren’t as keen on using their phones to pay as plastic, not even placing in the top 20 places embracing the tech. Here, St Albans leads in adoption of Apple/Google pay since the pandemic started in 2020. A 9% increase in over the last six months and +4% between 2019 and 2020.

Jon Knott, Head of Customer Insight at Paymentsense said:

“Coronavirus has undoubtedly forced change in our lives and shopping habits. As more businesses refuse cash as a precaution against Covid, it makes perfect sense that the use of contactless cards are on the up this year, more than ever. 

Our findings confirm that major cities are transitioning to a cashless society at a rapid pace. However, as we’ve seen with St. Albans it isn’t just the UK’s big cities going cash free; smaller towns are increasingly choosing contactless methods. With the pandemic ongoing, it seems that a cashless Britain may be here sooner than we thought.”