‘Touch and go’ contactless spending has surged by 34% since the beginning of 2017, according to the Barclaycard Contactless Spending Index.

The index reveals that more than half (51%) of all transactions up to the eligible £30 spending limit are now made using contactless, which shaves seven seconds off the time taken to process a transaction compared to Chip and PIN, according to Barclaycard.

Shoppers in the Midlands and the North of England are increasing their use of contactless more than anywhere else in the UK, with the biggest jumps in spending seen in Derby (up 45%), Chester (up 44%), Newcastle Upon Tyne (up 42%), Coventry (up 42%) and Stoke on Trent (up 41%).

Separate research from the UK Cards Association (UKCA) reveals that credit and debit payments have doubled in the last 10 years, with the increased use of contactless being one of the main drivers of this growth.

Debit and credit cards were used to make 16.4 billion purchases in 2016, up 146% from 6.7 billion in 2006.

Adam Herson, director at Barclaycard Mobile Payments, said: “Our data shows that growth in contactless spending has been surging for several years, but this latest insight is particularly significant as it shows shoppers now prefer to pay with ‘touch and go’, with more than half of eligible transactions made this way. This saves them valuable time at the check-out and makes buying goods and services far more convenient too.”