Contactless spending has rocketed in the last 12 months, with year-on-year spending up 166%, according to new data.

Barclaycard’s Contactless Spending Index shows 2016 is another record-breaking year for ‘touch and go’, after spending climbed by 164% in 2015.

One in two (50%) of Britons now pay by contactless at least once a month, with a fifth (21 per cent) planning to increase their usage further next year, Barclaycard said.

The index found that contactless spending in convenience stores increased by 98% this year, by 285% in service stations, and by 63% in newsagents.

Spending in Manchester is rising faster than in any other city, climbing 325%, with Glasgow, Blackpool, Hull and Edinburgh also seeing huge jumps. Overall, London continues to lead the way for contactless usage, with almost half (47%) of all eligible transactions (those up to £30) now made contactlessly – up from three in 10 in 2014.

Tami Hargreaves, commercial director, digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, said: “Brits across the UK are increasingly catching on to the speed and ease of ‘touch and go’ payments, meaning that for many, contactless is now the preferred way to pay. No longer is contactless just reserved for the morning coffee or afternoon snack, as our data shows, Brits are turning to these payments for all types of purchases, from a supermarket top-up shop to stocking up on everyday essentials in discount stores and pharmacies.

“In 2016, the increasing popularity of mobile payments and wearables has also contributed to the surge in contactless, and as more retailers continue to accept ‘touch and go’ as a way to pay we expect this upward trend to continue well into next year.”