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Contactless most popular payment method: 3 tips to stay safe

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
UK adults are more likely to use contactless payments than cash for purchases of up to £30, research has found.

The majority of UK adults (40 million) have made a contactless payment in the last year, with over 19 million people (37%) saying contactless is their first port of call for payments.

But rather than being driven by the millennial generation, the study by GoCompare Money revealed it is the 35 to 54 age group who favour contactless over other forms of payment.

Three quarters of people surveyed said contactless cards were their favourite way to pay for spends under £30, while 13% preferred smartphones, key fobs and wearable technology such watches and wristbands.

Convenience was the main appeal of contactless, cited by 73% of people. Other reasons included a dislike of carrying cash (19%) and using chip and PIN cards as one in 10 struggled to remember their PINs and passwords. For 17%, contactless cards meant they always have a way to pay for goods.

But Go Compare’s research also revealed that 23% of people hadn’t made a contactless payment in the last year, with 54% saying they were worried about the risk of fraud.

More than a third of people (37%) said the thought of going contactless was ‘scary’ while one in 10 said this payment method would mean they lose track of spending.

Some 18% hadn’t received a contactless card from their bank or credit supplier.

Martyn John of GoCompare Money said, “From cash to cards, smartphones to wearable devices – we’ve never had greater choice in the way we can pay. In the last decade, contactless payment technology has transformed the way we make payments, so much so, many people don’t feel the need to carry cash.”

John added that while contactless payments are now the norm for many people, the fear of fraud remains a big issue for some. See’s Just how safe are contactless cards? for more information.

Below, he lists the steps to take to protect against contactless fraud:

  1. Keep your contactless card safe and in sight, this will help guard against misuse
  2. Make sure the PIN protecting your card, smartphone or other payment device is strong and secure and, never use the same PIN to unlock your smartphone and to verify contactless payments
  3. Regularly check the transactions on your bank statements to help you spot any fraudulent activity on your account, contactless or otherwise. Checking your statements will also help you keep track of your spending.

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