Over a third (39%) of Tube passengers are shopping underground daily, Pay by Bank app reports


Over a third (39%) of Tube passengers are shopping underground daily, equating to 1.5m people, according to new data released today by mobile payment service, Pay by Bank app.

With the average Tube journey lasting 47 minutes, rush hour is the most popular time to shop. 33% of those asked shop on their morning commute but even more are spending on their way home after a long day with 36% spending on their journey home.

The most tap happy Tube line is the Central line with nearly a fifth (19%) of all commuters spending on this busy line. The Central line is followed by the Northern (18%) and Victoria lines (14%).

Looking for ways to keep themselves entertained, the majority (61%) of commuters spend their time buying books, music and films, spending nearly £30 each every month on digital downloads. Others are see their commute as a perfect opportunity to carry out lifemin; 37% spend an average of £77 on products such as insurance policies.

Other popular purchases include clothes (61%), takeaways (57%), tickets for activities such as the theatre (55%) and food shopping (53%).

The majority (55%) of Tube users are shopping underground purely because it passes the time, followed by the fact that it’s the most convenient time to shop (37%). As a city of busy professionals, nearly a quarter (24%) are favouring online shopping services that allow them to collect their purchase when they finally get home.

If retailers were able to provide a secure payment option to shoppers, they stand to make more money. 51% of Tube users said that they would spend more money on their daily commute if there were quicker and safer ways to pay.

Commenting on the research, Liam Spence, head of product for Pay by Bank app, said: “Some commuters are on the Tube for two hours so it makes sense to use this ‘dead time’ to shop. But getting out your credit or debit card and then keying in a long sequence of numbers on a packed Tube is not the ideal checkout experience – especially if you’re using station Wi-Fi to quickly checkout between stops or while waiting for a train. If retailers are to capitalise on this they need to introduce quicker and safer mobile payment methods.”