Brits find contactless payments 'scary'

Brits find contactless payments 'scary'

One in four Brits say they find the idea of contactless payments 'scary', while over a half say they would be saddened by a move to a cashless society, according to a survey by price comparison Website GoCompare.

Of the 2000 UK adults sampled by GoCompare, only six per cent have so far initiated a contactless payment with a credit card and just three percent have made such a transaction using their mobile phone.

The pollsters found more adventurous behaviour online, where non-bank alternatives such as PayPal fare much better, with 86% holding a PayPal account and 54% describing themselves as regular users.

The research also looked at how people expect to pay for things in ten years time. While cash topped the list of payment methods (60%), closely followed by debit cards (52%), only two fifths of people thought that they would be using contactless card payment systems in 2023. By comparison, only 36% expected to still be using traditional credit cards by then.

Just over a quarter of those surveyed expect to be paying for items via their mobile phone in 2023 while 19% think they will be using a type of biometric payment system.

"Are we ready to become a cashless society?" asks GoCompare's John Miles. "Our research suggests that we're not there yet. Most people think that there will always be a place for notes and coins and over half said that they will be very sad when we become a cashless society."

Comments: (11)

Paul Love
Paul Love - Konsentus - Nottingham 25 April, 2013, 14:011 like 1 like

Compare this survey with a report last week which said:

"With the Oyster card now dominant on London's transport network, just 1.5% of bus fares - 24 million journeys a year - are paid for with cash."

Clearly the overwhelming majority of London commuters do not find contactless payments in a transport setting "scary".

Why should a contactless payment in any other setting be any different?

Perhaps we have over emphasised the technology, rather than focussing on the simple act of payment, which they already know?


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 April, 2013, 14:581 like 1 like

It is also a woefully small number of people questioned. 

I wish there was more detail on the types of questions asked or where they were asked.


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 25 April, 2013, 17:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Comparing something that is pretty much mandated on the London Transport network as a result of the fare structure, and is a electronic wallet that has to be physically topped up, to paying routinely for goods via contactless payments on a debit or credit card is not valid though.

If someone is getting access to my bank account I want that to be done consciously and securely, with a receipt and proper authorisation through use of a PIN rather than just by waving my card in the direction of a terminal.

Paul Love
Paul Love - Konsentus - Nottingham 25 April, 2013, 17:491 like 1 like

It is a valid comparison when you also consider that on 1oth April a separate Finextra story also said:

In the four months since the launch of contactless payments on buses on 13 December 2012 the number of people using their contactless payment card has continued to rise each week. From 2,061 people making 2,586 journeys paid for on their contactless payment card on the first day in December, up to 10,000 people are now making as many as 16,000 journeys each day.

These 10,000 people per day are paying directly with their debit or credit card, rather than their Oyster card.

This volume is also 5 time larger than the entire sample size of the survey quoted in the article, of which less than a quater said they fund contactless "scarry". 

I know some people will worry about securuty etc, but that is the case with any new technology. The main issue  for me is does it add any value for the customer, and for small and fast payments, it probably does.

Very soon it will be second nature to pay this way!

Raymond Lee
Raymond Lee - Consult Hyperion - Guildforrd 25 April, 2013, 20:34Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I suspect, like most surveys of this type, it is a self selcting audience due to the way the questions have been stuctured and I suspect Go Compare has an agenda that will always create a biased report. 

John Candido
John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne 26 April, 2013, 05:281 like 1 like

The move to a cashless society is inevitable. It doesn't even have to be the policy of any political party, as it will come via technological evolution and the public's demand for its many conveniences. Before this can happen, a cashless society will naturally require a plethora of public debate.  

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 26 April, 2013, 09:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The cashless society will only come about when whores, drug dealers and plumbers accept electronic payments.

Raymond Lee
Raymond Lee - Consult Hyperion - Guildforrd 26 April, 2013, 09:591 like 1 like

Rest assured, the criminal classes already take cards. Plenty of evidence that the likes of Square, Pingit etc are already being used to purchase what most would descirbe as illegal goods and services. 

Matt White
Matt White - Finextra - Toronto 26 April, 2013, 10:262 likes 2 likes

"The cashless society will only come about when whores, drug dealers and plumbers accept electronic payments."

Well whores are using Square.

And drug dealers have bitcoin on the Silk Road.

You'll never get plumbers to ditch cash though.

Matt Scott
Matt Scott - RenovITe Technologies Inc - London 27 April, 2013, 11:011 like 1 like I educated my plumber - he now accepts payments through Faster Payments - meaning he can get payment quicker and without the bank charges he used to be hit with for cashing cheques into his Business Account.
John Candido
John Candido - Black Cabs - Melbourne 27 April, 2013, 11:181 like 1 like

I completely agree with Paul Love's comment, which is the first comment in this thread. In Australia, as everywhere else, Visa payWave and Mastercard PayPass are as natural as breathing air.  There is no fear, problem or controversy with using them.  Only scaremongers and lunatics think that there is a problem.  Smartphone take up and use is going to explode in several years' time, and it could replace your physical wallet, if you want it to.  With the huge take up of smartphones and virtual wallets, Visa payWave, Mastercard PayPass and American Express ExpressPay, which is the same as payWave or PayPass, the broad mass of people will not think twice to use payWave, PayPass or ExpressPay.  It will be like getting in your car in the morning to go to work.  Too easy!