New tech is great and there’s one form of new tech that us UK shoppers just can’t get enough off – the contactless card. It seems that retailers are convinced that 78% of us expect to be able to pay with it, even though only two thirds of shops actually offer it. The reasons why we want it are pretty simple – it’s fast, it’s easy and it’s secure. And when you think that we spend 18 hours every year stuck in a queue waiting to pay you, can see why.
It’s also estimated that more than £1 billion is lost in sales because us Brits don’t want to wait any more than five minutes standing in a shop queue (quite right too). So using contactless which is super quick can only be a good thing for shoppers and retailers alike.
At the moment, one in every five card payments are contactless (and if you really want to sound clever, its techy term is ‘NFC’ or Near Field Communication technology). The average spend is £8.75 which might sound small but it adds up to more than a billion pounds each month. Banks are also starting to investigate secure contactless cash withdrawals from the cash machines of withdraws up to £100.
And if you don’t have a contactless card but really would like one then you should speak to your bank or credit card provider because ultimately whether you can have one is down to whether they provide one (most major banks now do, a full list is available on thttp://www.theukcardsassociation.org.uk/individual/what-is-contactless.asp). If you already have a standard bank account or credit card then chances are you’ll automatically be issued with a contactless card.
Of course if you read too many conspiracy theories and are doubtful about the security of contactless technology then you can ask your bank to give you a regular, bog standard chip and PIN card. But don’t believe everything you read about the ability to scam and clone your card just by someone standing a few inches from you with a card reader – the tech behind contactless is pretty robust (but go ahead and wrap your wallet up in tin foil if it makes you feel better).
Whether you have a contactless card or not, it always pays to be wise about your money – which is why we’ve created our credit cards and current account hubs – so that you can find out about what’s on offer as well as how to keep your cards safe.