The overwhelming popularity of contactless cards is peaking shopper interest in new form factors, as fresh research from Mastercard suggests that one-quarter of Europeans expect to start using tap-and-go payments with a smartwatch, bracelet, keyring or other forms of wearable payments.
The data, which points to a potential market for wearables embracing 175 million European shoppers, comes from a study conducted among 50,747 people by GCT Research, across nine countries countries: UK, France, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.
Interest in wearables comes as more and more people turn to contactless as a convenient way to pay. Contactless spend on Mastercard and Maestro grew by 145% in the last year, as psychological barriers to uptake withered. In particular, concerns around fraud showed the greatest decline (-24%), with the Netherlands (-41%), Spain (-33%) and the UK (-31%) seeing the biggest drop in fraud concerns across local markets.
In the UK and the Netherlands, the potential for wearable payments is being promoted by Barclaycard and ABN Amro, both of which are experimenting with contactless chips in fashion accessories, such as jewelry and rings.
“With customer expectations clear and the new technology available today, the time has come to drop cumbersome methods of payment and embrace a better consumer experience through wearable payments,” says Yvonne Duits, product owner payments at ABN Amro. “We care about making things convenient for consumers and offering everyone a payment method that suits their preferences and this pilot is testament to that.”