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Contactless payment now first choice for 19 million people

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Most (77%) UK adults have made a contactless payment in the last year, with over 19 million (37%) now saying contactless is their first-choice payment method for purchases under £30, according to new research*, commissioned by GoCompare Money.

The research reveals that 77% of people (40 million) have made a contactless payment in the last 12 months. Slightly surprisingly, it is the 35 to 54 age group who are largely driving the payment revolution as they are currently the most likely to favour contactless over other forms of payment.

Payment method Age group
All adults 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
Contactless payment 37.2% 33% 36% 42% 45% 33% 33%
Cash 36.6% 44% 41% 34% 31% 40% 34%
Debit card with PIN 16.1% 21% 17% 15% 15% 15% 16%
Credit card with PIN 10.0% 3% 6% 9% 10% 12% 16%

The survey also revealed what methods were most popular, with contactless cards (75%) topping the list, while other methods including smartphones, key fobs and wearable technology such as watches and wristbands were used by 13% of people.

73% of people claim convenience is the main reason for using contactless payments.  Other reasons given include a dislike of carrying cash (19%) and, using chip and PIN cards.  One in ten contactless payment users admitted to finding it difficult to remember their PINs and passwords while 13% said they don’t like having to input PINs or card details when making a purchase.  17% of people favour contactless payments because it means they always have a way of paying for items.

Fewer than a quarter (23%) of people taking part in the research hadn’t made a contactless payment in the last 12 months, many of whom are worried about the risk of fraud (54%).  Fear of the unknown also appears to put some of these people off; 37% found the whole idea of going contactless scary, while 29% consider contactless smartphone payments intimidating.  One in ten were concerned contactless payments would make them lose track of their spending.




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