Contactless payments have been around for a while now, and in September 2015 the limit was boosted to £30, meaning we could buy even more at the till with a simple tap of our bank card. But while many have jumped on the bandwagon and been merrily tapping away, there are still a large number of consumers who continue to keep contactless payments at arm's length.
Research carried out by Future Thinking and Toluna into consumers' attitudes towards contactless payments discovered that there is still a large amount of distrust directed towards this new payment form; indeed, their survey found that 31% of respondents never resort to contactless payments as they have no trust in it. Older shoppers were particularly distrustful, with 43% of those aged over 55 saying that they had no confidence in it, compared with just 22% of under-35s.
Even among those who have embraced faster, simpler payments there are signs of a lack of confidence: over one in four (27%) said that they didn't think the limit should be raised from £30, which suggests that consumers still crave the security and reassurance of chip & pin or cash when making more costly purchases. This suggestion is backed up by research from The Co-op, which found that its customers invariably opted for chip & pin payment when purchases tipped over the £10 mark: its findings revealed that the average basket spend for contactless payment in their convenience stores was £8.66, well below the £30 limit, while the average spend via chip & pin was significantly larger at £18.16.
Clearly, there is still a degree of reluctance to make the most of the technology, which is perhaps most pointedly shown by the fact that 14% of respondents questioned by Future Thinking and Toluna actually had no idea whether or not their bank card even had the contactless function.
However, while contactless payments may not yet be wearing the crown, it is clear that its usage is increasing: The Co-op reported that contactless payments in its stores topped almost 11 million in the month surveyed, up 1.4 million from the previous month, while on a yearly basis the number of payments has trebled. This trend is also expected to continue, with The Co-op estimating that by 2025, 65% of all transactions will be made via contactless payment through devices such as mobile phones.
Commenting on the research, Cheryl Marshall of The Co-op Food said: "We've seen incredible growth in contactless and it is the payment medium of tomorrow… The new technology is perfect for convenience stores as shoppers buy fewer items and speed is important to them."
Her views are shared by Noreen Kinsey of Future Thinking: "It is clear from recent figures that there has been a huge increase in the number of purchases using contactless technology. This reflects consumer desires for quicker payment methods and increased convenience." She goes on to warn that the continued uptake of contactless technology could mean that more reluctant consumers soon get left behind, as the "may be further isolated as we move towards mobile pay and other tech-enabled purchase solutions".
So, if you haven't yet bitten the bullet and given contactless payment a trial run, it may be time to test it out! Talk to your bank provider to find out if your card has been contactless enabled, and then simply find a shop to give it a try! If your banking provider does not yet issue contactless cards, take a look at the current account best buys and see if you can find a provider who can give you access to the new and faster payments system. Once you try it, you may never look back!
Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.
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