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British consumers are at the forefront of payment technologies, according to new research. Contactless payments, real-time payments and mobile banking have grown in popularity among UK consumers, while countries such as the USA and Canada continue to lag behind.

The report, published by Payments UK, the trade association for the payments industry, found that by the end of 2015, 3.2m UK consumers had signed up for Paym or mobile banking services, while 41 per cent of UK debit cards had a contactless function, compared with just 26 per cent in Canada, and 23 per cent in the USA.

Maurice Cleaves, chief executive of Payments UK, said:  The UK has a great track record of leading where others follow, with both contactless payments and Paym being recent highlights. This report provides a fascinating insight into how much variation exists in consumer payment behaviour around the world and the high level of choice, convenience and protection which UK consumers enjoy, compared with many others around the world.

The UK was the first country in the world to introduce chip and PIN technology in 2006, while countries such as the USA have yet to complete their rollout of the technology.

Real-time internet and mobile payments have been available in the UK since 2008, but there is not yet an equivalent service available in the USA. According to the report, by the end of 2015, 93 per cent of UK adults owned at least one debit card, and 60 per cent owned a credit card.

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