British business attitudes to contactless technology

Last updated: 17 March 2016

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Many UK consumers are already using contactless payment technology, swiping their cards, watches and mobile phones in shops and tapping their visa cards on London’s tube.

According to the UK Cards Association, as of January 2016 there were a total of 81.5 million contactless cards in issue in the UK. But what are the views of UK businesses when it comes to contactless technology?

In our European study of contactless business adoption we looked at the attitudes and plans for the technology in the UK, Germany and Spain. The results show that overall, European businesses are enthusiastic about the adoption of the technology. Indeed, only 8% of companies admitted not having launched a contactless project yet.

British businesses in particular are planning greater investment in contactless technology compared to their peers in Germany and Spain. According to the research, the UK plans to adopt contactless card (65%) and mobile payments (61%) significantly more than Germany and Spain in the run-up to 2018.

But more needs to be done with wearable device payments which are currently only used by 25% of British businesses, compared with 34% in Germany and 35% in Spain.

The top drivers of contactless adoption in the UK are faster payments 73%, being seen to innovate 55% and customer demand 43%, demonstrating the push for greater convenience by consumers.

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With any new technology, security is paramount. The research suggests that UK companies’ top three tactics for ensuring security are training employees, partnering with trusted suppliers and ensuring strong encryption is deployed throughout.

Building trust has to be a key focus for British businesses if they wish to succeed with their contactless strategies. 19% of consumers don’t trust contact payment cards, 17% don’t trust mobile payments, and 29% don’t trust wearables. This suggests education is paramount to realize the potential benefits of deploying contactless solutions. Fortunately, 53% of UK businesses surveyed recognize this as the biggest challenge to overcome.

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We will be continuing our country focus this week with Germany next up, followed by Spain. But, in the meantime, you can read full details of the research in the report, which can be downloaded here.