Why contactless payments are paving the way 10 years on

Published: 30/04/2018

Contactless payment has become the norm in terms of how transactions are done. Whether it’s getting a flat white at a trendy coffee store, or simply buying everyday groceries at your nearest Tesco’s, consumers now expect to make a payment with a simple tap of their card - nice and quickly.

But, whilst contactless has only seeped into the public consciousness over the last few years the method is actually over ten years old. Since we became a nation of “tappers”, what are the key stats since embracing contactless?

Saves time

One thing that won’t surprise anyone is how contactless has saved consumers a great deal of time since it’s popularity has spread. According to Barclaycard, contactless is on average 7 seconds faster than Chip and PIN as well as 15 seconds faster than cash. None of that is a great shock - you may have come up with similar figures yourself.

However, what is even more interesting is the amount of time in total that is saved from tap and go…

Saves money

This all adds up to a staggering 141 million hours being saved through contactless transactions, which will be worth an estimated £967 million by 2021.

It's amazing that something which takes so little time can create such striking figures - yet another reason why going contactless could be the most sensible decision you make today.

Millennials love it

The generation most associated with being tech-savvy is the group that is leading the way in terms of contactless transactions. In 2016, Visa reported that over 65% of those aged between 18-35 had used contactless. This figure rose again in 2017 to 76% - a significant 11% increase. 

We wouldn’t be surprised if this number were to rise once more for 2018. So if your audience falls into this category - and you’re not using contactless - you might be wise to adopt this sooner rather than later.

There's so many of them

According to figures from the UK Card Association, over a year ago there are over 108 million contactless cards. This is split across debit (72.6 million) and credit (35.8 million). This is a very significant number which demonstrates that allowing card payment alone may not be enough without a contactless option.

What is even more significant is that these figures were from a year ago. There is no reason to think that this number won’t be substantially higher.

Great for retailers

These figures have been extremely encouraging for small retailers: those who have adopted contactless have seen sales increase by a whopping 30%. It’s easy to see why: contactless is designed to make the lives of consumers easier so stores and shops that do this are encouraging the most customer-centric option. If you were ever in any doubt about contactless driving sales, these figures should convince you.

Furthermore, over 53 percent would like to see an increase in the limit - that is currently capped on a contactless transaction - stands at £30. Don’t be surprised to see this limit increase to a greater amount, making the contactless system even more lucrative and beneficial for retailers.

Could it make cash obsolete?

This is the view of Deutsche Bank CEO John Crayon, who even went one step further by saying that cash may not exist at all in ten years time. Whilst it might be a stretch to say that cash will simply stop, it does illustrate how all retailers will soon need to adapt to changing technological trends in card transactions.

If contactless (and card payments in general) increase at the current rate then retailers who don’t adopt modern payment methods could be putting their businesses in danger.

At Payzone, we're dedicated to supporting small to medium-sized businesses. That's why we have a wide range of contactless card machines available to suit a variety of different businesses.

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