Apple Pay and Contactless Payments have overtaken cash payments by a landslide as preferred ways to pay in-store, states a recent report based on a survey of 1,000 British consumers, suggesting that the UK has become a contactless-first economy.
In comparison, estimates from Payments Journal suggest that only 45 per cent of Americans use contactless payments.
During the survey, one in five respondents (20 per cent) said mobile payments were their preferred choice, ahead of cash and Chip & PIN. When asked why, 42 per cent gave convenience as their main reason, followed by mobile payments as most widely accepted option, “I never carry cash”, “it’s the most secure option and “I don’t know my PIN”.
Contactless is by far the most popular payment method in the UK. Mobile payments like Apple Pay came in second and cash was third. Nearly one in three people admit to never carrying cash while more than half admitted to being deterred from shopping at a cash-only business.
In response to the data, Jodie Wilkinson, head of strategic partnerships at takepayments, says: “The new data shows fairly clearly that the majority of customers want to pay with contactless methods — whether that’s physical or digital cards — wherever they shop. Failing to accommodate these needs could put small businesses at a disadvantage, as cash-free shoppers may take their money elsewhere.
“Younger consumers are driving the adoption of mobile payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal. 3 in 10 (30 per cent) 18- to 24-year-olds said that mobile payments were their favourite way to pay, compared with just 5 per cent of Over 55s. Our own data also shows that contactless payments — including Apple Pay — grew by 596 per cent in colleges and universities from 2021-22 to 2022-23. The FIS estimates that this continued growth of digital wallet payments will account for 21 per cent of the UK market share by 2026.
“The launch of Apple Tap to Pay is further evidence that Fintech providers are increasingly recognising the UK as a progressive economy when it comes to payment technology”.