Despite the fact that most Brits are now au fait with contactless technology, few ever use their tap and pay cards and retailers are doing little to encourage take up, according to ICM Research.
A poll of 2001 consumers shows that 80% know what contactless payments are. A quarter have tap and pay cards themselves, although a significant minority of these were not aware of the fact until prompted to check.
Having been first to introduce contactless cards and then pump funds into advertising, Barclays is the brand most associated with tap and pay, cited by half of respondents and 70% of its own customers.
Despite the high awareness, less than a third of those that have a contactless payment card use it at all. When they do use it, it's infrequently - just 12% buy something this way weekly or more often, - with half spending £10 or less on their most recent transaction.
ICM argues that one reason for disparity between awareness and usage is a lack of support from retailers. The firm carried out mystery shopping tests on 26 high street stores and found that only 11 offer contactless payments and, of these, just three visibly promoted the capability.
With Christmas approaching, the company suggests that retailers should take advantage of the fact that the technology can slash queuing time - a boost for both shoppers and merchants at one of the busiest times of the year.
Jamie Belnikoff, associate director, ICM, says: "As our mystery shopping visits have shown, the main challenge sits with retailers who have the opportunity to take advantage of high consumer awareness and appetite, much of which has been built by financial services providers. As retailers educate both staff and customers about 'wave and pay' technology, people will make contactless payments more often."