Shoppers opt for self checkout to avoid talking to people, WorldPay study shows

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A third of shoppers regularly use self checkout and one in five favour self service kioks because they don’t have to talk to people, according to research into consumer payment behaviours by the global payment provider, WorldPay.

The study, which is designed to help businesses take advantage of new payment technologies, also found a growing awareness of contactless payment technology and a consumer preference to shop with retailers who operate a no-quibble returns policy.

While consumers are slowly taking up contactless payments, users who do experience benefits, WorldPay found. Awareness is increasing. Sixty per cent recognise the contactless symbol although only 10% have ever used contactless but, of those, 93% found it quick and ef­ficient. London leads in contactless payments with 17% having used the payment method, compared to 4% in Bristol and 5% in Norwich.

WorldPay’s research revealed consumers favour retailers and brands that have seamless returns and refunds – 63% would buy more from retailers with no quibbles returns. According to WorldPay, the returns process could be the new point of competitive advantage for shoppers. 

Smartphones and shopping go hand in hand but not for payments yet, researchers discovered. Shoppers would rather use smartphones as a ‘weapon’ on the high street: for show-rooming (46%), checking prices (45%) or downloading coupons (7%) rather than to pay, the study showed.

Consumers want current payment systems to be faster, said WorldPay. Nearly a third, 31%, are often irritated by how long it takes to pay in shops, researchers found.

Shoppers are using cash less often, the report shows. The main reasons cited are forgetting to withdraw it or withdrawing insufficient funds. 

Loyalty cards are reported to be in decline too, according to WorldPay’s research. Consumers use loyalty schemes but often forget their card or find schemes difficult to manage and 8m shoppers are reported to be using their cards less than a year ago, researchers found.

Consumers react cautiously towards very convenient payment methods, valuing security more, said WorldPay. Chip and PIN is still considered the most secure payment technology but half of all shoppers would like to use biometric payments, such as ­fingerprint, palm or iris scanners, over other emerging mobile technology options such as PIN-based smartphone, online wallets, SMS, and social media.

Consumers have established payment routines, which are difficult to change. Payments are not a high interest topic for consumers. Many do not think about paying for goods and services: they behave automatically and use cash and card, said WorldPay.

Consumers want payment confirmation and try and keep a record of spend. Three quarters – 78% – keep a receipt for everything they buy, the study showed.