Survey of British shoppers reveals confusion over contactless payment

Despite a widespread rollout of contactless cards and POS terminals in the UK, a survey has found that British consumers are confused about what a contactless card is and that cash is still king for the average UK shopper.

A contactless transaction taking place
CONFUSION? A contactless transaction taking place

Secure card payments specialist The Logic Group spoke to 1,000 consumers and asked them a range of questions regarding contactless payments and their feelings towards cash.

The participants appeared to be confused about what contactless payments actually are, with 21% of consumers thinking a contactless transaction is a payment made online and 18% a payment where no human contact is involved — for example, using a ticket machine.

When asked what the most important barriers to a cashless society were, only 21% identified a sentimental attachment to cash as a key obstacle, however. Nearly half of all respondents identified paying for low value items (45%) and small retailers that rely on cash (44%) as being the greatest barriers.

More than a third (38%) cited security concerns and allowing people with no bank account to pay for goods, while 8% of shoppers see no barriers at all to a cashless society.

Mark Kusionowicz, marketing director at The Logic Group, said: “In the UK alone, it’s estimated that consumers make 22 billion cash payments a year, worth a total of £266bn. However, over 80% of these transactions are for purchases of less than £15. This represents a huge opportunity for an alternative to cash that is faster, more convenient and more secure than notes and coins — and the emergence of contactless offers just this.

“However, there is clearly some work to be done in the industry to educate consumers not only to the benefits of contactless but also to what a contactless payment actually is. More positive though is that our survey presents a picture of a British public who are less sentimental than anticipated with regard to their attachment to hard cash.”

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