I ‘ve been talking about contactless for years now - I remember talking about the Octopus card system about ten years ago after it launched in Hong Kong in 1997 – and still find it surprising how invisible it is.
Sure it got some coverage at the Olympics but some, like Forrester, reckon that NFC mobile payments will not reach critical mass until 2020. Others, like me, say that this technology is already past its sell-by date, although I am open to persuasion.
In order to persuade me, Barclaycard sent me their latest research promoting the fact that everyone in Britain knows what contactless is all about.
Apparently 84% of us know what the symbol to the right means.
Yes, it's free wifi!
No, not really. It's the contactless payment symbol.
The fact that 84% of people recognise the logo has Barclaycard cockahoop as that’s nearly doubled the number from last year (44%) and is way up on 2010 when only 28% of people recognised the contactless symbol.
The other big news breaking is that Barclaycard is now processing over one million contactless transactions per month.
To put the million transactions-a-month into perspective it took almost 40 years from the first credit card launch for spending on plastic cards to overtake cash in the UK. That means that achieving a million contactless transactions a month in only five years is a significant milestone.
The other interesting stat is that three-quarters of those surveyed had no idea that contactless payments are treated the same as any card payment and insured against fraud. This may be a barrier to overcome as people inherently think contactless is insecure, but it is not therefore.
By way of example, once folks knew that the transactions are insured against fraud, four out of ten people said they would be more likely to make contactless payments and less than one in ten had any remaining concerns.
A few other stats Barclaycard shared:
- There are over 19 million contactless-enabled Barclaycards and Barclays debit cards.
- There are over 100,000 point-of-sale terminals that accept contactless payments in the UK, with the aim to raise that to over 150,000 by the end of the year.
- Key retail partners include Waitrose, McDonalds, Boots and Tesco.
About the Research
Populus conducted a poll of 2,026 UK adults on 8th and 9th August, 2012 covering a representative sample across all of the UK.