UK Consumer Acceptance of Contactless Cards Forecast to Grow

The confidence of UK consumers in the security of contactless payments will only rise as more and more cards start to offer the functionality as a default standard, claims Phil Davies, managing director of PSI-Pay.

A recent report from the UK’s Payments Council noted that cash payments are expected to fall over the next decade, as consumer card use is expected to double, with the market predicted to reach £17bn by 2022.

Davies added that despite initial concerns surrounding the security of contactless cards, there will be an inevitable shift away from cash as more and more people become comfortable with the concept of the technology.

“Initially, the prospect of contactless payments filled a lot of consumers with dread,” he said. “The concern is that by paying for something with a contactless card you would run into endless incidents of overpayment of items. This is simply not true, and more and more people seem to be waking up to this understanding every day.

“The research from the Payments Council is in line with what we are seeing – confidence in contactless payments is increasing as contactless technology becomes a default standard, with the notable example being the Oyster card system used by the London transport network.

“While security concerns surrounding contactless payments are understandable, what people often forget is this is similar system to the Oyster Card application. People tap in and tap out, and money is taken – contactless payments work in exactly the same way.

“Inevitably, we’ll start to see more and more of our expenditure being controlled by contactless devices. Evidence of this has been seen with Transport for London [TfL] launching contactless acceptance in December 2012, with the uptake across the bus network being exceptional. This will only heighten when it is introduced to the [London] Underground network in late 2013.

“Cash will still play a role particularly amongst retailers but without question more and more of our day-to-day lives will be controlled through contactless cards and with this consumer confidence will rise. For the payments industry this represents an exciting time.”

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