Contactless payment terminals might be rolling out into the retail trade but the vast majority of shoppers remain “clueless” about the technology, a new consumer survey has found, according to today’s Independent Retail News.
Barclays and Barclaycard have installed 52,000 contactless terminals in the UK and it is estimated around a quarter of debit and credit cards in circulation now have contactless functionality.
Richard Armstrong, head of UK payment acceptances at Barclaycard, said: “The range of retailers offering contactless payments grew significantly in 2010, but this is still only the beginning. Retailers realise that with contactless technology they can boost customer satisfaction by reducing queues and the need for consumers to search for the correct change.”
During 2010 more than 1.7 million contactless transactions under £15 each were processed and retailers coming on board with the technology include the Co-op and, more recently, discount retailer Wilkinson, which is now trialling contactless terminals in 25 of its stores.
Dan Wass, current accounts director at Barclays, said: “A growing number of card issuers and banks are waking up to the benefits of contactless payment technology and we expect there will be significant growth in the number of transactions in 2011.”
Consumer research by The Logic Group, the secure card payments specialist, reveals high levels of consumer ignorance about contactless payments, with almost 40% believing they are either payments made online or “where no human contact is involved”, such as ticket machines.
But, the Logic Group said, there was a “huge opportunity” for contactless payments as 80% of the 22 billion cash payments made last year were for purchases under £15.
“However, there is clearly some work to be done to educate consumers, not only to the benefits of contactless but also to what a contactless payment actually is,” said marketing director Mark Kusionowicz.