Belfast Telegraph

Contactless tech used by two-thirds of Northern Ireland adults, claims study

Convenience: Stephen Jones
Convenience: Stephen Jones
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

Two-thirds of Northern Ireland adults use contactless forms of payment, according to a report.

UK Finance, which represents some 250 firms across the UK banking and financial services sector, said the number of local people paying for goods in this manner increased from 49% in 2016 to 66% last year.

Contactless technology involves customers using a bank card or mobile device for a transaction worth £30 or under.

UK Finance said 7.4 billion such payments were made in the UK last year - 31% more than in 2017.

The research found that over two-thirds of UK adults used online banking in 2018 and nearly half (48%) used mobile banking.

Banks in Northern Ireland have consistently cited the rising digital trend as a key factor in closing branches. Danske Bank and Santander are the latest to announce closures.

UK Finance said one in six adults was registered for mobile payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay - an eightfold increase since 2016.

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It also said that 10% of UK consumers, or 5.4 million people, made one or no cash payments per month in 2018.

Some 4% of consumers mainly used cash for their spending in 2018, although most paid bills using other methods. This equates to 1.9 million people who mainly spend using cash.

UK Finance chief executive Stephen Jones said: "More and more customers are now opting for the speed and convenience of paying with their contactless cards, or using mobile banking to check their balances and make transfers while on the move. This rapid rate of technological change is set to continue."

Belfast Telegraph