Public apathetic towards contactless payment

Financial brands, such as Visa and Mastercard, are keen to forge forward with contactless payments but the latest research shows that that they have a large task to convince the public of the benefits of the technology.


Only 5% of Britons have used a contactless card, while 14% say they have been issued with a card but not yet used the contactless feature, according to the latest resreach from Mintel.

Even those who have used the technology are not overwhelmingly enthusiastic with 29% of those using a card in the days before the research taking place saying they neither agree nor disagree that it is more convenient and nearly 10% say it is less convenient than traditional card payment.

The biggest hurdle for take up of contactless cards is the limited acceptance among retailers and “a lack of a compelling reason to switch from chip and PIN”. This is accompanied by anxiety over security issues.

The research bears out findings by Simpson Carter showcased in Marketing Week’s M-commerce trends analysis.

Toby Clark, head of UK financial services at Mintel, says: “Consumers are not going to be convinced to buy into new payment technology unless the industry can convince them that it is a genuine upgrade to what they’ve already got.”  

However, there is a desire for contactless payment via mobile with 8% of UK internet users saying if their mobile operator allowed them to use mobile as a contactless payment service device, they’d apply for the service straight away.

Almost two thirds (62%) of smartphone users would at least consider this kind of payment technology, rising even further to 71% among tablet owners.

Clark says: “Although most people are happy with the status quo, there’s also a good proportion of people who are willing to consider new ways of paying. And if anything, people are even more interested in the additional, non-payment, features that the shift to mobile payments could offer – real-time card balances and alerts, for example, or the ability to store discount vouchers on a handset and apply them at the checkout.”

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Tom Fishburne is founder of Marketoon Studios. Follow his work at or on Twitter @tomfishburne See more of the Marketoonist here