Contactless payments have become mainstream in the UK – that’s a fact. According to new figures from Barclaycard, British consumers are now making seven million tap-and-go purchases per day, and these numbers are growing all the time.
Here are some sectors that are leading the charge when it comes to embracing consumers’ attraction to tap and go convenience:
Most of us have experienced that inevitable hold up at the barrier, caught behind someone that’s fumbling around for their ticket. In a bid to reduce this frustration, Transport for London launched contactless payments across its entire network in September 2014.
Of course, commuters were used to the notion of paying with a tap, thanks to the Oyster Card. However, the arrival of technology has significantly speeded things up for travellers - they now love it so much that London transport accounts for 70% of all contactless purchases in the UK. And its popularity has meant that travel services all over the country are now introducing the technology to their customers too.
Earlier this summer, we reported that a student attempted to style up her daily commute with a set of false nails that are embedded with contactless technology, which can be used across London’s travel network.
The design might not be considered the most stylish, but it follows in a series of moves from the fashion industry to cash in on the convenience of contactless. Topshop recently debuted a series of accessories embedded with the technology, while London Fashion Week encouraged guests to use contactless during one of its shows last year.
What can retailers learn from this?
Earlier this week, we reported on the latest research from Barclaycard that revealed a growing demand for more everyday items to become contactless enabled. The study found that possessions including jumpers, sunglasses and even dog leads were high on the wish list. The contactless nails might not seem so unusual anymore!
With this in mind, retailers that have not even made contactless available yet are falling even further behind. The ability to pay by tap is now not just a wish, it’s an expectation. Speed, convenience and flexibility are just some of the benefits that shoppers are enjoying from contactless, so much so that they now want it to become even more engrained into their daily routine.
So, perhaps rather than just offering contactless card payments, retailers should be following in the footsteps of the travel and fashion sectors by attempting to find new ways to introduce contactless to shoppers. After all, in an industry that’s rife with competition, the only way to really succeed is to stand out – who knows, we might be seeing a contactless dog lead on the shelves sooner than we thought!