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Wallets increasingly lighter thanks to contactless payments

Published 29/08/2016

More and more people are using contactless instead of carrying change.
More and more people are using contactless instead of carrying change.

Nearly one in 10 Britons no longer carry any loose change in their wallet regularly as "tap and go" contactless payments technology has grown in popularity, a survey has found.

Some 9% of people surveyed for Nationwide Current Accounts said they do not carry any coins in their wallet - with one in seven (14%) men saying this compared with one in 25 (4%) women.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of people said other than their regular bills, they usually pay for items using their card or contactless technology.

In September 2015, the transaction limit for making a single payment using a contactless card was increased by £10 to £30, making it an increasingly handy alternative to cash.

A recent report from Payments UK predicted that debit cards are set to overtake cash to be the UK's most frequently used payment method by 2021.

But despite new ways to pay, Nationwide's survey also found cash is often still the best option in some situations. One in three (33%) people have had to pay with cash on occasion because cards were not accepted or technology was not working.

Asked how often they take cash from an ATM, 40% said they do so weekly, 22% do so fortnightly and 18% do so monthly.

Researchers also found women are more likely to carry reward cards, money off vouchers, receipts and stamps in their wallet than men.

Some 2% of people across the survey also said they carry Pins in their wallet - which could make them an easier target for fraudsters if their Pin and their corresponding card are being kept together.

One in 12 (8%) carry a plaster with them, while one in 20 (5%) keep phone numbers handy in their wallet.

The bulk of people surveyed tend to carry two bank cards in their wallet, with 35% doing so, while 32% carry one card and one in nine (11%) carry four cards or more.

Some 2,000 people from across the UK took part in the survey.

Here are the percentages of people surveyed who said they tend to carry the following items in their purse or wallet, according to Nationwide Building Society. Figures in brackets show the percentages of women who carry particular items, followed by the percentages of men who do so (figures have been rounded):

:: Loyalty or reward cards, 74% (women 83%, men 64%)

:: Driving licence, 57%

:: Money off vouchers, 41% (women 57%, men 23%)

:: Receipts, 36% (women, 47%, men 26%)

:: Stamps, 29% (women 40%, men 18%)

:: Library cards, 29%

:: Photographs, 27%

:: Rail card or bus pass, 23%

:: Pin numbers, 2%

:: Phone numbers, 5%

:: Condoms, 2% (women 1%, men 4%)

:: Plasters, 8%

:: Donor card, 19%

:: Gift cards, 19%

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From Belfast Telegraph