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Only 5% of people have made a contactless card payment, reveals new research

04 May
09:14 2012

Only 5% of Brits have used a contactless card, while almost three times as many (14%) say they have been issued with a card and not yet used the contactless feature, according to the latest research from Mintel.

Even among those who have used the contactless feature, it seems approval is far from overwhelming. Just 43% of those using the feature had used it within the few days preceding Mintel’s research, and while three-fifths (62%) do agree that it is more convenient, the balance of responses (29% neither agree nor disagree and 9% disagree) hints at acceptance, rather than outright enthusiasm.  

Furthermore, Mintel’s research strongly suggests that there is still a significant proportion of the population who have been issued with a contactless card but have not yet realised, while nine million consumers ‘know’ they have a contactless card, 3.8 million ‘aren’t sure’. Today, some 72% of consumers think contactless cards should only be issued on request.

Toby Clark, head of UK financial services at Mintel, said: “Consumers are still wary of contactless card payments, and compulsory upgrades risk further undermining consumers’ goodwill towards the banks. There is anecdotal evidence of disgruntled customers closing accounts rather than have to carry a contactless card. If they only realise that they have been issued with this card months after the event, the reaction will be even less favourable.” 

Despite the best intentions of technology giants, barely anyone has managed to go cashless yet – indeed, 86% of UK consumers had brought something with cash in the last few days preceding Mintel’s research.

However, some consumers are eager to embrace the payment options afforded by technology. Some 8% of UK internet users say that if their mobile operator allowed them to use their mobile as a contactless payment device, they’d apply for the service straight away. A further two-fifths (37%) would be interested, but prefer to take a ‘wait and see’ approach.

And while the opportunities for combining technology with payments continue to expand, it appears consumers are much more wary about less established technology. Some 64% worry about the security of using a mobile instead of a payment card, and 58% about contactless payments. 

Source: Mintel

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