Cash still first choice for more than half of Brits

Cash is still the primary chosen payment method for UK residents, according to a survey by payments technology provider Verifone

Cash is still the primary chosen payment method for UK residents, but contactless payments are on the rise, according to a survey by payments technology provider Verifone.

While the firm's research revealed 65% of Brits choose cash first and chip and PIN second, 38% of those surveyed showed awareness of contactless payments

Verifone director of products and solutions Raja Ray said contactless technologies are starting to gain traction, but it's going to take time to displace cash completely.

“We do fall back to cash but we’re starting to see the introduction of a cash-replacement technology based on contactless,” he said.

The awareness of mobile wallet technologies is also on the rise, with 21% knowing what a mobile wallet is. But, according to Ray, this is not necessarily because of Apple's contactless payments technology Apple Pay, as it has not yet been released in the UK.

He pointed out that although there are some mobile wallet users, numbers of these are referring to applications such as Uber or Hailo, as there are not many ubiquitous wallet schemes available in the UK.

The research also showed there has been a lean towards ease of use, with 32% of respondents saying they want applications to store card details. Meanwhile, 73% said having to queue to pay is the main factor for a bad shopping experience.

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It seems the increase in technology has led to customers expecting more from retailers and wanting more human interaction.

According to the research, many customers now want increased reward for their loyalty, with targeted discounts expected by 35% of UK customers.

“Consumers are looking for something that what we might term frictionless. It’s seamless, it’s easy, it’s frictionless, but also has to deliver them some kind of value,” Ray said.

“When you're just implementing technology for the sake of technology where consumers don’t see the value of it, you end up alienating consumers.”

There is also a call for consistency as the shopping experience crosses channels, with 32% saying they want the same experience across all channels.

“If you think about in-store payments, where it is a pretty consistent experience whether you’re paying by contactless or chip and PIN, and then if you go online where often the consumer will have to fill in forms, details and wait for things to happen,” said Ray.

“Everything that merchants and providers such as ourselves can do to make that simpler and easier for consumers while maintaining an appropriate level of security so they actually trust in the system is really important.”

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