By Oscar Nieboer, Chief Marketing Officer, Paysafe Group
Five years ago, contactless payments barely existed in the UK, but today the country is the world leader in contactless shopping with our research showing that 54% of UK consumers use it in a typical month. The payment method has become so popular with UK users that nearly two thirds of them (61%) state that they prefer to shop in places that accept contactless, and more than half (51%) want to see the spending limit of £30 raised.
Such new, faster payment methods are seen by retailers as ways to improve the customer experience and, ultimately, help them compete with the personalised, seamless shopping experiences of online giants like Amazon.
With this in mind, we can expect products like mobile wallets to only become more popular, as they allow more frictionless transactions to take place, such as using a smart watch to pay. However, somewhat ironically, the success of contactless cards has partly stunted the growth of such products, with contactless being seen as just as convenient, reducing the urgency to move to mobile wallets.
But this isn’t likely to last. Frictionless payment options like biometrics, apps and voice-activated systems are grabbing the public’s attention; respectively, 22%, 18% and 16% of consumers think that these technologies will be widely used in two to three years. In-app purchases are already starting to grow with 10% of consumers saying they have used them in the last month. But the evolution from contactless to true frictionless payments – checkout-free – are still likely to be some way off as only 11% of consumers said they’d shop like this if local stores offered it.