Contactless cards accounted for a third of payments in the UK in 2018, according to new figures released by trade association UK Finance.

This translates to 7.4 billion transactions across the year, with the total also rising by 31% compared to the previous year.

With more and more cards having the technology to perform "tap and go" payment, 20 million transactions were made using contactless means each day.

82 million of 99 million debit cards in the UK are able to perform "tap and go" payments

Contactless customers spent £69 billion in the UK over the entire year, which was up by 31.8% compared with 2017.

From this figure, £58.4 billion was spent on debit cards, with the remaining £10.6 billion being spent using credit cards.

Contactless technology is also being featured on more and more cards, as 82 million of the 99 million debit cards currently in UK circulation enabling "tap and go" payments, and 41 million of 60 million credit cards.

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UK Finance believe the rise of contactless payments is being driven by consumer preference and more retailers and transport services accepting the technology as a method of payment.

The company's managing director of personal finance, Eric Leenders, said: "Many of us are now reaching for our cards or mobiles rather than cash to make low-value purchases, as customers opt for the convenience and security of paying with contactless.

"There has also been an increase in credit card use although growth in outstanding balances has slowed, suggesting many consumers are using their cards for day-to-day spending rather than as a means of borrowing."