UK consumers are increasingly happy to use contactless payment, with new figures showing that almost one in two in-store card transactions are now contactless.
According to Mastercard, transport is one of the main areas driving the growth of contactless transactions as ‘tap & go’ payment enables faster transactions and greater security when hopping on the bus or travelling on the Tube.
Overall, there has been a 95% increase in UK contactless transactions in the year-to-date.
The acceptance of contactless is now standard in the UK, and by 2020 all point-of-sale terminals across Europe are expected to be contactless enabled.
Individual contactless card transactions are currently limited to £30, but recent research from GoCompare Money found that many users want the figure to rise to enable them to pay for a wider range of goods and services.
In a survey, 42% of contactless payment users said they would like a higher limit, with 38% saying it could be £50 or more, while 9% would like to be able to make payments of £100 or more.
However, although consumers appreciate the convenience of tap & go, GoCompare Money warned that the growth of contactless payments coupled with the rapid demise in paper statements is causing some people to lose track of their spending.
The survey found that 13% worry the new technology leads them to spend more than they intended and 12% said it had increased their number of impulse purchases. Another 8% of users admitted to not associating contactless payments with real money.
“Since the introduction of contactless cards in 2007, the speed and ease of their use has seen millions of us embrace the technology for day-to-day shopping. But, from our research it’s clear that simply waving a card or smartphone over a payment reader leaves some people disassociated from the money they’re spending and can lead them to make more impulse purchases,” said Georgie Frost, consumer advocate at GoCompare Money.
Frost warned that, even with the payment limit capped at £30, frequent, unmindful spending can quickly add up – so keep on top of your finances by checking your bank and card statements regularly.