Level of contactless payments adoption falls far below industry expectations

Do you use your contactless card?

According to a survey carried out by international provider of retail banking and electronic payments software Compass Plus, the reality of contactless payment usage is far behind the initial predictions at this stage.

More than 160 UK residents responded to the survey about their payment behaviour, revealing that less than one in 10 people had actually used their contactless card to purchase an item during the last month. Further to this, 34% believed contactless cards to be the least secure method of payment. Online debit card transactions were named as the second least secure by 26% of respondents and using a smartphone to make payments came third (24%). The study found that cash is still king when it comes to perceived security of payments with 57% believing it to be the most secure form, followed by credit cards (34%) and debit cards (32%).

The research also revealed that 93% of participants had withdrawn cash from an ATM in the last month. The continuing rise of the e-commerce sector in the UK was also clear as 86% had made purchases online using their bank cards. With regard to contactless cards, just 9% had brought items on the high street using a contactless card over the previous month, and only 4% using a smartphone.

A SmartDebit spokesperson commented, “The research illustrates the difference in opinion and expectations from payment industry experts and the consumer. It is widely believed that the UK is becoming a cashless society, with more and more people using cards, smartphones and automated payment types such as Direct Debit to pay for their goods and services. However, this survey shows that while the industry perceives the transition to be the case, consumer adoption is not meeting the expected levels. The lack of awareness of differing payment types combined with security concerns and ‘comfort in cash’ are contributing factors to the low level of uptake.”


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