Figures show that a bank busting £6.9 million was stolen using contactless cards and mobile devices in 2016. It’s a staggering 146% increase from 2015 figures, when contactless card fraud added up to a mere £2.8 million by comparison.

The ease with which stolen contactless cards can be used has led a judge in Devon, to say ‘it seems quite ludicrous that banks allow this to happen’. But, the popularity of contactless cards is on the up and as of March this year, there were 107.4 million contactless cards in the UK – that’s an annual increase of 21.7%.

But, although the value of contactless card fraud has increased, it still only makes up 1.1% of total card fraud. In 2016, the UK spent £25.2 billion using contactless cards, and despite contactless fraud costing nearly £7 million, it actually only works out at 2.7p for every £100 spent. In real terms, that’s a decrease on 2015 figures where fraudulent use came to 3.6p per £100.

There are more than 480,000 contactless card readers in the UK – an increase of more than 35% on the year, showing that both consumers and retailers have embraced the technology. So, although not everyone’s convinced about the security of contactless cards, they look like they’re here to stay.

Chances are, if you have a debit or credit card, it’ll be contactless, as many banks and building societies issue them as standard. If you’re adamant that you don’t want a contactless card, then just let your bank know and they should give you a good old fashioned chip and PIN one instead (remember – they were once new-fangled too).

And if you want to find out more about what ‘contactless payments’ actually mean and how the magic happens, then find out all you need to know in our 'Guide to contactless payments' Or, if you’ve already embraced the tech and are looking for a better deal on your credit card or with your current account, then what are you waiting for – start your search right here at comparethemarket.com

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