Contactless payment is something of a hot topic at the moment. With contactless card payments starting to nudge cash aside and Apple Pay launching in the UK, we’re starting to become more familiar with the technology.

As a nation, we have spent more than £2.5bn using contactless cards this year in the UK, and now the limit for contactless payment has been increased to £30 from £20. The average supermarket spend, according to the UK Cards Association, is £25. This contactless limit increase now means that we could see a large jump in usage, as more consumers are able to use the feature to pay for their groceries.

More Ways To Pay

Android Pay is reportedly set to go live on September 16th (in the US at least), which means that when it eventually arrives in the UK, an enormous percentage of the population will be able to pay via contactless methods. Samsung Pay has also launched in South Korea, with a move to the UK happening “in the near future”.

So what exactly is the difference between the three mobile payment systems? Well, the obvious difference is of course that they are available on different mobile devices. Beyond that, Android Pay and Apple Pay are rather similar. They both offer in-store and one-tap online payments using NFC technology. The only real difference between them is that Apple Pay is also available on Apple Watch, whereas Android Pay only works on mobile devices. Samsung Pay uses a different technology to Apple Pay and Android Pay, called Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology. This means that Samsung Pay is compatible with card machines that only have a magnetic strip reader.

Fashion Accessories

To make it even more practical and convenient, at least for the male population, Scottish clothing brand Lyle & Scott have designed a contactless winter coat. The coat is designed in collaboration with Barclaycard and holds a bPay card in a small pocket in the cuff. While contactless payment is in its infancy, one barrier will be getting people to get over the image factor. It still appears a little strange, or maybe even “uncool” to some, and Lyle & Scott have aimed to create a wearable that people would want to use regularly, without worrying what they look like.

Contactless payment is growing quickly in the UK, and we will only see more innovations and variations on the current technology.