People steering clear of contactless cardsLess than 25% have used swipe and go cards

05 May 2012

Contactless card

Only 5% of Brits have used a contactless card

Staggeringly low numbers of people with contactless cards are using their features, with only 25% of contactless card holders ever using them to make payments, new research from Mintel has found. 

The research reveals only 5% of Brits have used a contactless card - while almost three times as many (14%) say they have been issued with a card and not yet used the contactless feature.

Low awareness of contactless cards

Furthermore, there is still a significant proportion of the population who have been issued with a contactless card but have not yet realised - as while 9 million consumers 'know' they have a contactless card, 3.8 million 'aren't sure'. Today, some 72% of consumers think contactless cards should only be issued on request.

Toby Clark, head of UK financial services at Mintel, said: 'Consumers are still wary of contactless card payments, and compulsory upgrades risk further undermining consumers' goodwill towards the banks. 

'There is anecdotal evidence of disgruntled customers closing accounts rather than have to carry a contactless card. If they only realise that they have been issued with this card months after the event, the reaction will be even less favourable.'

Greater interest in mobile payments

There is a hardcore of people that are interested in the new technology developments. The Mintel research found that some 8% of UK internet users say that if their mobile operator allowed them to use their mobile as a contactless payment device, they'd apply for the service straight away.

A further two fifths (37%) would be interested, but prefer to take a 'wait and see' approach. Almost two thirds (62%) of smartphone users would at least consider this kind of payment technology, rising even further to 71% among tablet owners.

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