UK contactless payment usage soars – untapped opportunity for fashion

Contactless payments are on the rise in the UK

UK fashion retailers not switched to contactless payment solutions need to consider an upgrade as usage has more than trebled over the last 12 months.

With the transaction limit increasing from £20 to £30 at the beginning of September, the service becomes increasingly relevant to fashion and clothing retailers looking to improve the customer experience and reduce wait time at tills.

According to data from WGSN’s INstock platform, 62% of full-priced apparel footwear and accessories across womenswear, menswear and kids from 34 of the UK’s mass market retailers is priced below £30.

Statistics from Barclaycard reveal that year-on-year contactless spending has leapt 150% by value and 134% by volume.

The study found that supermarket spend accounts for almost a third of all contactless transactions, while restaurants accounted for 20% and commuter transport took 18% of contactless transactions by value.

Women are closing the gap on men when it comes to contactless adoption, with females now accounting for 45% of active customers compared to 36 per cent at the end of 2014. In addition, 50% of contactless users are now aged 50 or over, with 20% aged 65 plus, indicating that this technology is being embraced by all consumers regardless of gender or age.

WGSN’s Head of Market Intelligence, Lorna Hall, said: “Shoppers love contactless because of the speed and convenience it offers. Our patience for waiting for anything is on the decline and abandoning purchases in store on sight of a slow moving queue is becoming just as much an issue for retailers as abandoned checkouts online. Retailers who don’t have contactless need to realise that customers are becoming much more comfortable with trading off security for convenience and a better experience.”

Barclaycard head of contactless Tami Hargreaves said: “Over the next year we expect the limit increase alongside the forthcoming launch of High Value Payments – where contactless transactions over £30 can be made using a mobile device combined with Chip and PIN authorisation – to drive this growth even further. Ultimately, the uptake of contactless spending is a ‘win-win’ for consumers and businesses alike.”

For more on why retailers need to meet customer expectations around contactless and mobile payments join WGSN.

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