Quarter of Brits embrace contactless payments using smart devices

British consumers have embraced contactless payments via their smart devices. A recent study by Visa has revealed that as many as 25 per cent of Brits have used either a mobile device or smart watch to make a contactless payment. The introduction of services such as Apple Pay has made contactless payments easily accessible.

In terms of contactless cards, two-thirds of Brits have opted to bypass their pins since contactless cards first came into circulation 10 years ago. Across the UK, contactless payments have grown in recent years, with a record 34% of card payments using contactless in June 2017. More broadly, the UK is now the leading market in Europe in terms of transaction volumes using contactless payments, ahead of Poland, France, Spain and Finland. 

Unsurprisingly shoppers aged 18-35 are the most likely to make contactless payments, with 76 per cent of that age bracket making a purchase with a contactless card. Over 65s are more tentative when it comes to ‘tap to pay’, 55 per cent of this group have done so, a slight increase on last year’s figure of 52 per cent.

Kevin Jenkins, Managing Director for Visa UK & Ireland, says: “The introduction of contactless cards in the UK ten years ago was a watershed moment for consumers. Whether buying lunch, commuting without having to top-up, queuing at bars and festivals, or donating to charity, Brits have come to expect a painless payment experience.

“Yet there’s still room for the uptake of contactless to grow, particularly outside London and the South East. Our study shows the appetite for adopting new payment methods is greater than ever and with mobile devices opening up myriad new ways to pay, the next ten years looks set to see contactless payments become an ever greater part of our day to day lives.”

The sectors that have seen the greatest uptake of contactless usage are, in general, located on the high street – grocery stores and supermarkets see the highest level of contactless payments, followed by fast food restaurants and, increasingly, commuter transport.

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