Public apathetic towards contactless payment

Branwell Johnson

Financial brands, such as Visa and Mastercard, are keen to forge forward with contactless payments but the latest research shows that that they have a large task to convince the public of the benefits of the technology.

Only 5% of Britons have used a contactless card, while 14% say they have been issued with a card but not yet used the contactless feature, according to the latest resreach from Mintel.

Even those who have used the technology are not overwhelmingly enthusiastic with 29% of those using a card in the days before the research taking place saying they neither agree nor disagree that it is more convenient and nearly 10% say it is less convenient than traditional card payment.

The biggest hurdle for take up of contactless cards is the limited acceptance among retailers and “a lack of a compelling reason to switch from chip and PIN”. This is accompanied by anxiety over security issues.

The research bears out findings by Simpson Carter showcased in Marketing Week’s M-commerce trends analysis.

Toby Clark, head of UK financial services at Mintel, says: “Consumers are not going to be convinced to buy into new payment technology unless the industry can convince them that it is a genuine upgrade to what they’ve already got.”  

However, there is a desire for contactless payment via mobile with 8% of UK internet users saying if their mobile operator allowed them to use mobile as a contactless payment service device, they’d apply for the service straight away.

Almost two thirds (62%) of smartphone users would at least consider this kind of payment technology, rising even further to 71% among tablet owners.

Clark says: “Although most people are happy with the status quo, there’s also a good proportion of people who are willing to consider new ways of paying. And if anything, people are even more interested in the additional, non-payment, features that the shift to mobile payments could offer - real-time card balances and alerts, for example, or the ability to store discount vouchers on a handset and apply them at the checkout.”

 

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