British Consumers Send Mixed Signals on Contactless Payments

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

British consumers are wary of contactless payments, with a quarter of respondents suggesting that the idea of contactless payments is “scary,” according to a survey from online market comparison website gocompare.com.

Only 6 percent of the 2,000 adults surveyed said they have made a contactless payment with their credit card. Some 3 percent stated they had used their phone to make a contactless payment. While the survey may dismay current contactless enthusiasts, consumers indicated they will be more open to new payment forms in the next 10 years.

Some two-fifths of respondents believe that by 2023, they would use contactless card payments as part of the mainstream payment environment. In addition, a quarter of consumers said they would use mobile payments predominantly; with 19 percent believe a biometric payment system would be in place within the next decade.

While eventual adoption of new payment technologies is expected, some 60 percent of respondents to suggested that cash would be the most used payment instrument in 2023.

“Are we ready to become a cashless society? Our research suggests that we’re not there yet. Most people think that there will always be a place for notes and coins and over half said that they will be very sad when we become a cashless society, ” says John Miles of gocompare.com.

The findings of this survey, however, conflict with recent developments in London. Last week, it was revealed the London transportation agency is considering prohibiting cash fares on all London buses as early this year. According to the agency, only 1.5% of all fares are paid with cash. It appears consumers in London are comfortable with contactless payments and other electronic payment forms.

Given the conflicts between London’s transportation agency and gocompare’s results, we believe the majority of gocompare.com’s respondents were either not from London or other metropolitan areas. Those consumers are for more likely to encounter contactless payments on a regular basis. Closing this urban-rural gap in payment adoption will be significant if contactless and mobile payments are to become influential players in the cashless society of the near future.

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