Brits show appetite for contactless card payments


The majority of UK consumers who have used contactless payments are impressed with the technology and want it to be more widely available, a new survey has found. Visa Europe's latest research suggests that the nation's attitude to the way we pay is changing and that Britons are keen to embrace technologies that have the potential to make life easier.


Majority say they would recommend contactless payments to friends
Visa Europe's first ever Contactless Barometer report indicates that the quick and convenient payment technology is rapidly gaining acceptance among consumers. Researchers spoke with 2,000 people and found that 85% of those who had made a contactless payment with their debit or credit card would recommend the method to their friends. Nine out of 10 users said it made life simpler and 58% said it was ideal for people in a hurry.

Wider retail support needed
One of the main problems with contactless technology seems to be the lack of retailers that currently support the payment method. Nearly three in 10 respondents to the Visa Europe poll felt that the technology was not available in enough shops and 57% said they had never been asked if they wanted to pay with a contactless credit card.

Commenting on the research, Mark Austin, head of contactless at Visa Europe, said the new Contactless Barometer would help to uncover changes in the technology's take-up over time. "It's good to see that users of contactless are satisfied with the technology, but it's also clear that many consumers would like to see it become more widely available across the country," observed Mr Austin in a news release.

Security concerns still linger
Mr Austin also moved to allay fears about the security of contactless credit card payments, after the poll found that 44% of people are worried about the risk of their card being stolen. "Contactless cards are subject to the same level of consumer protection as all Visa cards, which means that if you are a victim of fraud you can get your money back," explained Mr Austin. "The cards also have in-built security functionality which means they can only be used a certain number of times before a pin is required." 

See related: Britons anticipate cash-free future; A new innovation in contactless payments: contactless wristbands

Published: 8 September 2011