Published on August 6th, 2018 | by Sam Rose

Are You Part of the Contactless Crowd?

Have you abandoned the bank note for a scannable bar code on your phone? Replaced coins with your debit or credit card? If so, you could be part of the 63% of people in the UK who have now turned to contactless payments.

According to a nationwide survey from finance company UK Finance, cash and coin payments have dropped by 15% over the past year. Following this, payments by card during the last quarter of 2017 rose to overtake traditional cash payments to 13.2 billion. This result is said to be due to the major increase in contactless payments over the past few years, which now account for 5.6 billion of card payments made. The survey also revealed that the average adult made nine contactless payments per month during 2017 – an increase from five in 2016.

The Surge of Contactless

So, what is causing the nation to turn ‘tap happy’ with contactless payments? Adam Herson, Business Development Director of Barclaycard believes choice and accessibility could be key factors in ditching traditional cash. “More recently, we have seen a surge in the use of wearable and mobile payments, creating new, exciting opportunities for both shoppers and brands. Consumers are increasingly able to match their payment accessory or device to their lifestyle of fashion taste.”

Contactless Card Payment

Herson’s comments come off the back of other research on the UK’s new interest in contactless payments. Research indicates that by 2027, the average adult is expected to make at least 22 contactless payments per month. Additionally, the most likely age group to use contactless cards and payments are those between 25 and 34. This is followed by those aged 65 or older, who have also show keen interest in contactless too. More than half of this age group made a contactless payment last year, demonstrating it’s not just a young person’s game.

New Contactless Cap

With contactless increasing more and more in popularity, it unfortunately leaves contactless cash users as bigger targets for fraud. Its sharp rise saw card fraud rise to a loss of 5.6 million during the first six months of 2017. As a result, the European Union is introducing some new legislation to try and tackle the problem. The new law, set to come into effect in September 2019, means that a cap will be placed on the amount you can spend with contactless payments in stores. It means that cards will require pin code entry after 5 contactless payments have been made or alternatively, when the amount spent reaches over £132. This follows a cap currently in place for contactless payments which restricts any purchases being made over £30, a limit introduced to fend off potential fraudsters.

Cash Still Second

So where does this leave traditional bank notes and coins? Well cash is still runner up to the king, say UK Finance. Whilst they expect cash use to continue to fall in the next decade, it shows no signs of dying out just yet. And not everyone is on board with card taps and bar code scans. Almost 2.2 million people still used cash for their day to day shopping purchases in 2017, showing we have a lot of choice when it comes to making a payment.

Chief Executive at UK Finance, Stephen Jones, has a firm belief that cash will continue to stick around. “The choice of payment options available in the UK is allowing people to choose to pay the way that best suits them. But we’re far from becoming a cash-free society and despite the UK transforming to an economy where cash is less important than it once was, it will remain a payment method that continues to be valued and preferred by many.”

If you are one of the many that taps your mobile phone at the supermarket rather than scrambling for bank notes, then you’ll need to stay charged to be able to pay your charge. Here at the Post Office Shop, we sell a wide range of Small Electrical Supplies which includes a selection of Powerbanks, so that you can keep your phone battery topped up wherever you are!

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