Barclays’ report shows growth in contactless payments among older shoppers

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Barclays, one of the leading UK banks, recently published its annual contactless trends reports for 2023. The report’s New Consumer Spend data revealed that 2023 was a record-breaking year for “touch and pay,” and also the year with the fastest growth coming among older shoppers, meaning 65 and older.

The gap between demographics narrows as older generations adopt new technologies

According to Barclays, usage of contactless payments grew across all age demographics, but in the past, the gap between older and younger users used to be significantly wider. As years went by, the gap started to narrow as older generations started to accept the new technologies and the ease of making payments that came with them.

Now, the percentage of active users that are between 85 and 95 years of age managed to go above 80% for the first time since contactless payments were introduced. Meanwhile, 2023 is also the third year in a row when those older than 65 were the fastest-growing demographics for contactless usage. On average, the growth rate is at 4.1% per year.

Barclays also said that mobile wallets are gaining ground as well, although this is particularly noticeable among younger shoppers. However, Chip and PIN and cash remain the preference for purchases that exceed 100 GBP.

According to the bank, one in five individual among those between 18 and 34 years regularly go out shopping without their wallets. That means that approximately 22% prefer to pay with their phones, while the percentage for those older than 75 years is at only 1% as of 2023.

Over 93% of UK’s shoppers are using contactless payments

Growth is also quite noticeable when considering the UK’s population as a whole. Barclays says that all in-store transactions up to 100 GBP made using contactless payments amount to 93.4%, which is also a record figure measured in 2023. In total, the figure is 7.8% higher than what the so-called “touch and go” transactions amounted to in 2022.

Barclays’ head of retail, Karen Johnson, commented on the new figures, stating that contactless payments have cemented themselves as the favorite payment method in the UK ever since they were originally introduced in 2007. Barclays rolled them out nearly 17 years ago now, and immediately users adopted this payment method due to its speed and convenience.

Over the years, the number of cashless businesses started seeing rapid growth, and now, older shoppers are embracing the touch-and-go method as well. Johnson said that she is pleased to see that older citizens are open to adopting the new methods, and that the gap in contactless usage between age demographics continues to narrow.


Ali is a professional journalist with experience in Web3 journalism and marketing. Ali holds a Master's degree in Finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of leading cryptocurrency publications including, CryptoSlate,,, Business2Community, BeinCrypto, and more.