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Equifax: UK Shoppers Overwhelmingly Turn to Chip-and-PIN

March 22, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

It’s long since been made clear that mobile payments are huge in Great Britain. Lots of people are turning to those technologies to make payments throughout the shops found therein. News sent our way from Equifax, however, suggests that one method is climbing to primacy in the field: the chip-and-PIN combination system.

Chip-and-PIN, or rather a credit or debit card with such a system in place, represents the payment weapon of choice for 42 percent of users in the UK. Not too far behind was contactless, which came in at 34 percent, and almost a third of those users preferring a contactless card to a phone or wearable device.

Two-thirds—66 percent—are actually happy with the current transaction limit of 30 pounds sterling, and only 16 percent think it should be raised. Thirty-nine percent of those wanting a raise would like to see the maximum go to 50 pounds sterling, while 13 percent would be happy with it just hitting 40.

Contactless payments are big there for a variety of reasons; 34 percent are in for the speed of the transaction, while 21 percent consider it more convenient than grabbing cash. Just 16 percent, however, cited security, preferring not to carry cash on general principles.

Equifax’s head of ID and fraud UK, Sarah Lewis, noted “…Contactless and wearable payments will continue to grow in popularity, but the financial services industry has a lot of work to do to make customers completely comfortable with these options.”

The revelation that chip-and-PIN is a big deal in the UK isn’t exactly a big one, but one worth noting. It’s clear that mobile payments systems that depend on the phone—like Apple Pay and the like—will have tougher going in the UK, even where people are clearly not opposed to mobile payments systems. Those who want to get in are going to have to focus on speed and convenience, and might do well to offer a higher limit to go after that smaller chunk of market that’s aching for a raise.

Still, this is news worth noting out of a place where mobile payments are a pretty big deal in and of themselves. It’s going to be interesting to see what the market does with this information now that it’s got it.