Analysis from Datamonitor shows sluggish adoption of contactless payment in the UK due to recession, while Barclaycard is arguing the opposite, according to internetretailing.net.
Gilles Ubaghs, financial analyst at Datamonitor, calls the situation a “catch 22.” Consumers aren’t interested in owning a contactless card if there’s nowhere to use it, and retailers don’t want to invest in contactless POS equipment if so few people are using the cards.
Ubaghs goes on to point out that although contactless payment has been around for nearly 10 years in the UK, there are still only two high profile companies offering the technology to consumers: Barclaycard and Oyster.
So, what needs to happen? Ubaghs says investment from other issuers is crucial, not only for the development of the technology, but to convince consumers to adopt contactless payment through public education campaigns.
Barclaycard, however, believes the opposite is true: the recession has in fact helped push contactless payment along.
Stuart Neal, head of UK payment acceptance at Barclaycard, argues that the recession has provided an impetus for retailers to invest in contactless payment to cut times at the till, thereby boosting sales and increasing the amount spent per customer.
“We’re looking to actively encourage adoption, so for many retailers the cost of implementing contactless is modest,” says Neal. “Currently there are 25,000 Barclaycard contactless terminals live and accepting payment across the country and we remain committed to working with retailers and consumers to roll it out across the UK.”
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