Visa, the world’s leading payment card issuer, stated how cash is slowly becoming a thing of the past in the United Kingdom. With £28bn spent on Visa cards on the first day of the Christmas retail season, their statement holds a lot of merit. Shoppers seem less keen to use cash when shopping, and payment cards are quickly becoming the new trend. But it is not yet time for a cashless society either.
The UK Shows An Appetite For Non-cash Payments
It is no secret that consumers across the United Kingdom have been keen on using non-cash payment options in recent years. Contactless payments have been on the rise across all of Europe, up from 36% in 2015, to 52% in 2016, so far. What is rather surprising is how both young and older consumers see the benefit of contactless transactions.
To make contactless payments even more appealing to the average consumer, it offers a new way to impact other standard payment options. In fact, ever since contactless options were introduced, it seems that more than half of consumers see no issue using their mobile phone to complete a payment. That has been different in years past, though.
Most of the new forms of payment hinge on mobile applications. After all, without a proprietary app, no one will get their phone out of their pocket to make a payment. Even though there is some mobile app fatigue setting in in the financial sector, some apps are proving to be quite successful in their own regard. Banks still have a long way to go, as they tend to spin-off separate apps rather than creating one unified offering.
For the average consumer, lines between in-store and online shopping are starting to blur. More expensive items will still be checked out in a brick-and-mortar location first before a purchase is made. That said, it is not uncommon for consumers to buy items such as a new TV online, without having seen it in person first. Most consumers have faith in online retailers, which is a positive development.
Visa UK & Ireland Managing Director Kevin Jenkins stated:
“With more than £2bn being spent on Visa cards in the UK on Black Friday, we continue to see an increase in the shift from cash to cards when people do their Christmas shopping. This is driven by British consumers’ increased familiarity with contactless cards and other new digital payment services.”
The upcoming Christmas shopping season will be quite intriguing to keep an eye on. Visa expects even more people to use contactless payment options moving forward, although it appears that mainly online shopping will be on the rise. The bigger question is whether or not we will see some exciting deals, as both Black Friday and Cyber Monday were disappointing in Europe this year.
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