Britons over the age of 60 are the fastest growing group of people taking to contactless card payments, according to Barclaycard. Spending via contactless within the older age group has more than doubled in the last year, it said.

Separate figures showed that total spending on contactless cards hit £1.5bn for the first time in March.

The Barclaycard data suggests the number of silver surfers using “touch and go” payments increased by 116% over the last 12 months. Previously over-60s had not been that enthusiastic about using them, but the figures show they are now catching up with other age groups.

The card company said that ease of use was a big driver amongst the older population. “Especially for older pensioners, who don’t need to tap their numbers in,” said a spokesperson.

Elsewhere, there is increasing demand for contactless payments from retailers themselves, Barclaycard said. Discount stores were the sector with the biggest increase, up more than 400%. Gift card shops, petrol stations and pubs also saw significant rises.

Some charities are also experimenting with using portable terminals to collect donations on the street, according to the UK Cards Association.

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