UK consumers are taking a ‘pick n mix’ approach to how they make payments, with mobile banking, mobile payments and contactless all becoming increasingly popular, research by UK Finance has revealed. Just as digital technology has allowed people to choose the way they listen to music or read the news, it is now transforming the world of payments, as consumers take advantage of the ever-widening range of payment choices available to suit their needs and lifestyle.
The latest UK Payment Markets report found that almost half (48 per cent) of UK adults used mobile banking in 2018, up from 41 per cent the previous year. The number of bank payments made using online or mobile banking in 2018 grew to two billion, up from 1.6 billion in 2017, as consumers and businesses increasingly choose to bank using their phones, tablets or computers.
By the end of 2018, an estimated 8.5 million people were registered to buy goods and services using mobile payment services such as Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. This means that one in six of the adult population are now registered for mobile payment services, up from just two per cent in 2016.
The figures also show that older customers are increasingly embracing the convenience of this technology, with 61 per cent of over-65s making contactless payments in 2018, up from 50 per cent in 2017. Altogether, 69 per cent of adults in the UK now use contactless payments, with no age group or region falling below 58 per cent usage nationwide.
Cash remains the second most frequently used payment method in the UK. It was used for 28 per cent of payments in 2018 and is forecast to still be used for one in ten payments in a decade’s time. However, the growth in contactless and mobile payments has meant consumers are choosing to pay less with cash, with overall cash payments falling by 16 per cent in 2018 and one in ten adults (5.4 million consumers) opting not to use cash at all.