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10 Years of Contactless: What’s Next?

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September marks the 10th anniversary of the contactless card, and in the last decade we’ve seen its use soar, particularly in recent years. Barclaycard believes its use will push a further 300% in the next four years.

 Finance Monthly has heard from Ian Bradbury, CTO for Financial Services at Fujitsu UK and Ireland, who shares his insights on how contactless has developed over the past ten years, and where he expects the payments landscape to go next.

It is hard to believe that contactless cards have now been around for a decade, as we have only in recent years seen them receive significant uptake with consumers. What was once seen as ‘scary’ and ‘unsafe’ to use, is now – thanks to its ease and education – resonating and growing in popularity with today’s consumers and now responsible for a third of all card transactions.

We expect this adoption of contactless payments to only grow, and become an increasingly important feature in the British payments landscape. Ultimately, both consumers and retailers are choosing to adopt solutions that are secure, quick and easy to use, as well as ubiquitous.

Not only are contactless payments quicker and easier to use than Chip and Pin, they are in a variety of ways more practical than small change and notes. The notable corresponding growth in debit card transactions also implies that this is not just growth fuelled by debt and easy credit – much of this increase will be a result of contactless payments being made purely due to ease. Moreover, contactless payments have the added value of fuelling other payment solutions such as Apple and Android pay and other wearable technology, which isn’t so easily done with Chip and Pin.

The success of contactless payments highlights consumers today are quick to adopt new payments solutions that focus on improving their experience. That said, because consumer experience can cover many aspects including convenience, security, speed and ubiquity, it’s essential that providers put in place ways to improve the experience over current solutions. If future payment solutions do not address all of these areas – which are fast-becoming an everyday expectation from consumers – then they are unlikely to be successful.

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