A qualified cheer at the good news kicking off 2016 about contactless growth

UK spending on contactless cards has hit a record £1bn ($1.4bn) in a single month for the first time.

Contactless payments totalled £1.02bn in November 2015 compared with a mere £287m in January 2015.
Month-on-month, contactless spending grew 10% in November with the number of purchases up by 6% on October to 128 million.
The average transaction value of a contactless payment increased to £8.03 in November, up from £7.72 in October, likely due to the contactless payment limit increasing from £20 to £30 in September 2015.
I say a qualified cheer as there remains a huge amount to do for retailers to get their act together.
Sainsbury’s have been among the worst culprits in being dilatory but there also remains work to do at Tesco.
Bluntly, if Morrisons can ensure that all stores are contactless-enabled, Sainsbury’s with far deeper pockets, ought to hang their heads in shame.
Once all of the major supermarket chains do catch up with Morrisons, we will really see some impressive contactless growth.
Contactless aside, the other big cards talking point that dominated last year was interchange.
On 9 December the new interchange rates came into effect.
As commercials BINs are excluded and have far higher interchange rates, there has been strong interest in how companies can issue commercials prepaid BINs or products rather than commercial BINs.
There has also been a fair amount of confusion on what is a commercial BIN – just because a product is loaded with Corporate Funds does NOT make it a commercial BIN.
With perfect timing, David Parker of Polymath Consulting has published a white paper to help guide people through understanding when a product is a commercial product in the perception of the schemes and when it is a consumer product.
The Polymath white paper: “What is a BIN Consumer v Commercial BIN – the Difference” is well worth a download from the Polymath website.