Payment Methods

Contactless Card Payments Taking Off In The UK

Contactless card payments are gaining traction in the U.K., with Brits more likely to make a payment via contactless card than check, according to research by Mintel, the global market research firm.

According to the research, which was issued on Thursday (Sept. 1), 31 percent of British residents used a check to pay for goods and services during the first quarter of 2016. That compares to 39 percent who used contactless debit cards and 34 percent that pay with a credit card. The report noted contactless cards were first unveiled nearly 10 years ago in the U.K., but as of the second quarter of 2015, 28 percent of U.K. residents were using contactless cards to make payments, while 40 percent used checks during the same timeframe.

Rich Shepherd, a financial services analyst at Mintel, said the shift toward contactless payment methods is due to the fact that contactless payments are becoming much more widely accepted. “Payment habits change slowly, as can be seen with the check’s stubborn refusal to disappear from the payments landscape,” he said in a report. He said the fight against change will continue with mobile payments, which were used by 34 percent of smartphones in the 12 months ended in April 2016. According to the research, 77 percent of consumers are worried data would be compromised if their phones were stolen. Meanwhile, 76 percent were concerned that hackers will make fraudulent transactions.

“The recent growth of contactless card usage and the widespread availability of contactless terminals mean that mobile payments should face less resistance from consumers than contactless cards did,” said the analyst in the report. “However, the fact that contactless payments took nearly a decade to become a mainstream payment method suggests that mobile services will go through a similarly extended journey to widespread use.”

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