Retail news round-up: Co-op's membership increases; and contactless spending surges in the UK.

Co-operative’s membership increases

The Co-op has reported a 700,000 increase in its membership over the past year, to a total of 13.6 million, This Is Money reported.

The boost in membership was for the Co-op Group along with community-based businesses and credit unions.

There are currently 6,800 independent co-operatives.

Contactless spending surges in the UK

Spending on contactless payment has increased 34% in the UK, according to research by Barclaycard, The Times reported.

The data showed that 51% of all transactions with a value up to the spending limit of £30 are done using a contactless card.

Barclaycard mobile payments director Adam Herson 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.”