mobile payment, smartphone

Contactless Payments More Likely in UK than US, Says Auriemma

December 28, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

We’ve all known for some time now that the Brits love contactless payments, with more than a few calling for limits on the practice to be lifted to take contactless into more higher-value shops. A new report from Auriemma Consulting Group, meanwhile, puts some numbers to the concept and makes it clear that contactless has vastly more impact in the UK than it does in the US.

The Auriemma numbers reveal that mobile payments in general are having quite a bit more impact in the UK, with 12 percent of cardholders in the UK using Apple Pay in the last month compared to just nine percent in the US. Visa Checkout saw a similar gap, with nine percent in the UK using it and six percent in the US. However, there isn’t a universal gap, as both PayPal in-store checkout have five percent use each, and Android Pay is used by four percent of cardholders studied in both countries.

Additionally, there’s quite a bit of common ground between the two markets. The numbers of shoppers that have never made an online purchase via smartphone is actually somewhat higher in the UK, the report notes, with 40 percent in the UK having not as compared to 31 percent of the US. Plus, there’s also decent correlation between those who have made online purchases via a smartphone and those who have tried mobile wallet systems.

There’s a lot to consider here; cultural differences like the United States holding onto its notion of cash which may be slowing up the numbers of mobile payment users overall. Consider also the discrepancies in population; the US has the third largest population on Earth behind India and China. The UK doesn’t even crack the top 10. There are also issues of online shopping to consider overall; we’ve seen how a lot of US shoppers are moving to online alternatives like Amazon for a variety of reasons, and that may be accounting for some differences.

Still, we have numbers on the table that say the UK consumer is ahead of the curve when it comes to contactless payment systems. Just how much impact overall that has is somewhat unclear, but it’s the kind of development that may change some market strategies going forward.