And no, I don’t mean are you a hermit or a person that is out of contact with the world. I mean have you yet been converted to using contactless payment cards?
Traditionally, people of our generation have been used to paying for things with what are now deemed old-fashioned payment methods such as cheques, or god forbid, good old cash! But nowadays, it is the rise of the contactless payment that is driving a new way of paying for goods and services.
What is contactless?
‘Contactless’ cards are debit or credit cards that you simply tap on a payment device allowing you to pay for things up to £30 in value without having to sign for them or enter your PIN number. And they are clearly here to stay. Recent data issued by The UK Cards Association show that in November 2016 there were nearly 102 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK, which represents an increase of nearly 27% on the same month in the previous year. The data also shows that spending on these cards now exceeds £2.3bn per month – up 183% year on year with over 324 million contactless transactions being made.
Are they safe?
While usage is rocketing, the card issuers themselves are understandably at pains to point out that they are a very safe way of making payments for goods and services. Fraudulent transactions are low at around 1p per £100.00 spent.
Usage amongst older people on the rise
According to recent data from Barclaycard, there has been a huge increase in contactless payments among the nation’s ‘silver spenders’. Britain’s over 60s are taking to ‘touch and go’ payments in their droves with the number of users up 11%, more than any other age group. While traditionally slower to adopt new technology than younger generations, when it comes to contactless, the UK’s over 60s are well and truly bucking the trend. Clearly, the issues surrounding fraud and safety are gradually being overcome, and let’s be clear about this, the trend in usage is only going to go one way – upwards.
What’s your experience of contactless cards? Do you embrace them or are you afraid of them? Write to us and let us know.
By Andrew Silk