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Contactless card payments predicted to rise


A new report has shed further light on the evolution of contactless card payment technology, which has helped to transform the retail experience for many shoppers over the last few years.



Although some businesses have remained resistant to installing the technology, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain this stance as consumers have embraced the concept.



And now, a new report from Juniper Research has found that 249 million cards will be used for contactless card payments in 2014. This situation is being driven by the global migration to standards-based CHIP & PIN and increasing contactless infrastructure at the point of sale.



The report observes that growth in contactless card payments will stem from early adopter markets, such as Australia, Canada and the UK.



Longer term, however, rising user numbers will come from marked take-up in the US.



Research shows that in the UK, more than 3.5 million London bus journeys have been paid for via contactless payment cards since November 2012.



There are, of course, some practical advantages to using contactless payment technology, such as the reduced cash handling and increased customer retention.



And so while some firms may continue to resist the temptation to turn to contactless card payment, it is becoming increasingly apparent that there are financial benefits to embracing the technology.



Dr Windsor Holden reflected: “We’re still at a comparatively early stage in the consumer contactless journey. Awareness of – and confidence in – the technology needs to increase substantially before we move to true mass adoption.”



In recent months, a number of the UK’s largest retail firms have turned to contactless payments, in part because it makes economic sense and also because consumers are demanding this is the case.



Costcutter Supermarkets, for instance, has placed contactless card payment terminals across 500 of its stores nationwide.



Justifying the decision, the firm said that the move is designed to make it easier for consumers to make small value purchases without coins or notes.