02, Barclaycard and Google may be rolling out contactless payment initiatives but new research reveals just 5% of UK consumers have used a contactless card.
Additionally, Mintel’s 2012 Consumer Payment Preferences report showed 14% of UK consumers have been issued with a card and not yet used the technology.
For those who have, only 43% had used it within a few days prior to the research, said Mintel. Whilst three fifths agree it is more convenient the responses conveyed more acceptance rather than outright enthusiasm, said the report.
Mintel also predicted that while 9m consumers ‘know’ they have a contactless card, 3.8m ‘aren’t sure’.
Toby Clark from 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.”
However some consumers are eager to embrace alternative methods to cash payments with 8% of claiming that if their 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, according to the report.
Clark added: “Although most people are happy with the status quo, there’s also a good proportion of people who are willing to consider new ways of paying. And if anything, people are even more interested in the additional, non-payment, features that the shift to mobile payments could offer - real-time card balances and alerts, for example, or the ability to store discount vouchers on a handset and apply them at the checkout.”