Three quarters of British consumers (73%) feel they need more education on contactless technology before they start paying with contactless debit and credit cards or mobile phones, according to new research commissioned by Ingenico, a leading provider of payment solutions.
Although nearly half of British consumers (46%) would consider using their mobile phone as a method of payment, the research reveals many consumers are unprepared to make the leap from traditional forms of payment. This is most clearly shown by the slow take up to date of contactless debit and credit cards, say researchers.
Thirteen per cent of consumers have ever owned a contactless enabled debit or credit card and only 5% have ever made a payment using a contactless debit or credit card.
The research reveals two of the primary reasons why the adoption of contactless payment technology remains so slow is that consumers feel ill-informed about both using the technology and the security surrounding the technology.
Sixty one per cent need more reassurance contactless card and mobile payment technology is secure before they attempt to make any such payments. Nearly half (47%) say they don’t know enough about contactless or mobile payment technology to make them want to use it.
The study also found 42% consumers still don’t know where they can use a contactless card, and 35% have no idea what a contactless terminal looks like.
A requirement to improve consumer knowledge about the technology is not the only barrier to adoption, claim researchers.
The research highlights an ongoing concern over security. Nearly half (47%) of Brits would be put off from making contactless debit or credit card payments due to the security risk of fraud, and the same number would be concerned about the risk of identity theft. Mobile phone payment technology faces the same issues, with 56% worried about fraud and 52% worried about identity theft.
Responsibility for helping consumers understand contactless technology rests with the payment card industry, according to three quarters of British consumers. Two thirds think banks should take responsibility for consumer understanding and 55% think retailers should do more to educate shoppers. A quarter (26%) feels the Government should be responsible for consumer education.
Craig Doyle, managing director for UK and Northern Europe, Ingenico, said: “Consumers have long demanded improved convenience and speed during their shopping experience. But this research reveals they are still not sufficiently confident in using contactless technology to make the switch from traditional cash and cards. There can be no doubt we remain on the cusp of a major payment revolution. However, providing shoppers with clearer information about contactless technology will be critical to improving their knowledge and ultimately increasing consumer adoption.
“There is a huge responsibility on the shoulders of the contactless industry to work together to ensure demand from consumers meets supply of technology. And the best way to achieve this equilibrium is to raise levels of awareness and understanding about the benefits of this technology and continue bringing convenience to the end consumer.”