In the UK, there’s been a growing preference for contactless payments over cash. According to a recent survey from takepayments, which polled more than 1,000 UK residents, nearly half of respondents (48%) said they preferred contactless card payments—more so than cash (17%) and and Chip & PIN transactions (11%).
Mobile payments, such as Apple Pay and PayPal, edged out cash, with 20% of respondents opting for these convenient alternatives.
The dominance of contactless payments in the UK reflects a growing trend that’s taking place worldwide. Not surprisingly, younger consumers are spearheading this change in behavior, leaning on mobile payments to pay for their purchases. Older consumers, however, are more likely to still hold onto their physical wallets and pay via cash.
All About Convenience
Contactless payments offer unparalleled convenience. Indeed, 88% of respondents in the takepayments study cited contactless payments to be “the most convenient option.” What’s more, the ease of tapping a card or phone eliminates the need to carry cash, and that’s primarily why 31% of respondents said they never carry cash.
That’s not to say that cash is going away. Many consumers are still clinging to cash for its perceived security and budgeting advantages. When asked why they choose to use cash over other payment methods, more than half (53%) of those polled said they find cash to be the most secure option, and nearly as many respondents (52%) said it helps them stick to a budget.
Interestingly, the survey revealed a gender gap in payment preferences. Men were 22% less likely than women to prefer contactless payments. And out of the various regions in the UK the survey looked at, London ranked low on the contactless preference list.
Payment Method of Choice
For businesses, accommodating cashless transactions is becoming essential to attracting and retaining customers. Only 47% of survey respondents said they were willing to shop at cash-only businesses, with 13% admitting they would avoid these establishments altogether.
The key takeaway for businesses is clear: embracing contactless payments and card solutions is crucial to staying competitive. As more businesses and consumers embrace this new way of paying, the contactless trend shows no signs of slowing down, firmly establishing itself as the preferred payment method in the UK.