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22% of Brits expect to make a contactless payment this year

03 June 2014

Cardiff leads the way as the most active UK city for contactless payments

  • 15% of UK adults have so far used a specially enabled credit or debit card to make a contactless payment;
  • Online and smartphone banking is booming with over 80% of adults regularly managing their money online
  • 28% of Brits have made payments using a smartphone banking app

New research suggests that shoppers are warming to contactless payments with 15% of Brits having already made a contactless payment using a credit or debit card and more than a fifth saying they expect to use contactless payments this year.

That’s an increase of 9% on last year, when Gocompare asked the same question – only 6%* said they had made a contactless payment.

However, the pattern is mixed across the UK with cities like Cardiff, Manchester and London well ahead of other cities in terms of adopting the new approach.

The research, commissioned by Gocompare.com, which looked at over 1,500 UK adults’ use of new payment methods revealed:

  • 80% regularly manage their money online;
  • 39% of those surveyed had downloaded a mobile phone banking app;
  • 42% have used a smartphone to check their bank balance;
  • 28% had made payments using their mobile phone banking app;
  • 26% of respondents said that they regularly see shops and restaurants advertising contactless payments.

Analysis of the usage of the new payment technologies in the UK’s largest 15 cities revealed that:

  • Cardiff tops the list of cities for use of contactless payments with up to 31% of residents saying they have made such a transaction using either their smartphone, credit or debit card.  Londoners and Mancunians are the second highest users (27%).
  • More people living in Edinburgh (29%) and Cardiff (29%) than any of the other cities surveyed expect to make contactless payments this year, followed by Glasgow;
  • 39% of people living in Coventry said they regularly see shops and restaurants advertising contactless payments, followed by a third of Birmingham residents and 31% of people living in Leicester;
  • London (25%), Cardiff (25%) and Coventry (25%) all lead the table in the number of shoppers planning to use contactless payment more in the future.

However, the survey also revealed that many people remain wary of the new payment technologies.  A quarter of respondents said that they find the idea of paying for things by mobile phone scary, while 23% were frightened by the concept of contactless payments. The risk of fraud was a key concern with 46% of respondents saying this was a worry in relation to contactless payments.

Gocompare.com’s banking spokesperson, Matt Sanders, commented, “Smartphones have changed the way we communicate, hold and access data, news and entertainment, and new developments such as Paym mean that, in the near future, mobile payments may well replace the use of cash.

“From the end of April 2014, shoppers have been able to use their mobile phones to make bank payments through the new Paym service which enables users to pay for goods and services using the recipient’s mobile phone number.

“Many of the high street banks and retailers are embracing the new digital money technologies and as our survey shows consumers are regularly seeing shops and restaurants advertising contactless payment systems.”

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Notes to editors:

Between 28 March and 11 April 2014, Consumer Intelligence conducted an online survey among 1,509 randomly selected UK adults. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

*On the 4th-6th March 2013, Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,019 randomly selected British adults who are Springboard UK panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.