Cash still King but Brits warm to new ways

Acceptance of new payment methods is on the rise in the UK, although cash remains the primary choice of payment, according to new Verifone research. Thirty eight per cent of respondents in London were either very or somewhat familiar with contactless payments, and 21 per cent were very or somewhat familiar with mobile wallets. At the same time, however, 65 per cent of UK consumers still favour notes and coins, followed by chip and PIN transactions and online payment methods.

Conducted among 1,085 UK adults last month by Censuswide, the research highlights the effect of the rising prominence of technology in retail experiences, with 56 per cent of respondents saying the breadth of new ways to pay in-store is important to them. Three out of 10 supported improvements made in the range of payment methods at the point of sale, while 32 per cent saw mobile applications that stored card details as important or very important. Yet with these advances and choices comes a need for retailers to offer promotions and incentives consistently across all channels to maintain brand loyalty and provide positive experiences to their customers.

E-commerce also continues to evolve and bring new opportunities to retailers, with in-store (75 per cent) and online (72 per cent) shopping now practically equal in popularity. However, only 10 percent of respondents had shopped by mobile phone. And the same number said they equate less human interaction with new technology.

“We are seeing UK consumers begin to take to new technologies with enthusiasm, indicating that mass adoption won’t be far away,” says June Felix, president of Europe at Verifone. “However, shoppers also want to feel that retailers value and understand them more because of these technologies. Therefore, it’s imperative for these new technologies to provide a connected commerce experience that is clear and relevant to the consumer. Otherwise, retailers risk frustrating and even eroding trust with their customers. Security has become a primary and integral part of that experience both for e-commerce and in-store, with retailers expected to assure the same level of protection wherever or however people shop. The age of the customer is also a consideration. We found that the older a person is, the more worried they are that their shopping will lead to a personal data breach or fraud. Retailers need to find ways to continue to improve the retail experience and in particular reduce wait times, without compromising security in any way."

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