Online payments to UK merchants have doubled over the past four years, with businesses taking a massive £100bn online between August 2012 and August 2013, according to data from Visa.
Visa confirmed online payments through made to UK merchants reached £52bn in the first half of measured period from August 2012 to March 2013. The figure means on average online payments now account for £1 in every £4 spent within the UK and on average £3,170 is being spent online with Visa every second.
Many of the payments come from outside the UK, Visa said, with £16bn of the total figure coming from international transactions. The US was the largest contributor, with Italy the second largest source of online revenue. France, Japan and Germany ranked at third, fourth and fifth respectively.
Managing director of Visa UK Marc O'Brien said the explosion is largely down to a boom in mobile commerce and the firm is hoping that its new offerings for businesses enable them to capitalise on this growth.
"Online spending with Visa is now at an unprecedented scale across all sectors including airlines, supermarkets and services, indicative of the ever-increasing preference to make purchases online, largely fuelled by the explosion in smartphones and tablets," he said.
"At Visa Europe, we are enabling merchants to take advantage of the possibilities that e-commerce presents by making sure that online spend is safe, through Verified by Visa, and convenient through the introduction of V.me by Visa, our digital wallet."
The news is the latest development in Visa's ongoing "war on cash". Visa announced its war against physical currency during a press conference in Bratislava earlier in 2013.
Visa has listed contactless payments as another key growth area, predicting that over 50 million will be made every month across Europe by the end of 2013. Visa claims it has already had success in boosting contactless payment levels in the UK, reporting that British consumers made 51 million contactless payments in the 12 months to July 2013, worth £338m.
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