September 2017 saw the tenth anniversary of contactless or “touch and go” payments in the UK, and companies and banks are now spending more and more time researching exploratory ways to make the technology even faster, whilst introducing new diverse payment solutions.

Everywhere you look in society now, contactless technology is becoming more and more prominent. Only last month Visa hosted the UK’s first ever contactless music festival, BoardMasters in Cornwall, where every exhibitor was offered the chance to go contactless, eliminating any potential queues and improving the overall experience for visitors.

The question is where will contactless technology go next? Can you imagine being a passenger boarding a bus to work, and you have to show a tattoo on your finger to board, or imagine attempting to make a payment at your local bank and all they need is a copy of your retina on their file in order to scan your retina eye. How about wearing a bespoke contactless enabled watch to get into your favourite Premier league team? There are some ambitious plans to revolutionise contactless technology in the coming years, to take it to the next level and make the end users’ lives easier.  

In early September, the first set of car keys with contactless enabled technology were developed with a Barclaycard chip enclosed within. The car keys were launched through DS Automobiles, part of Peugeot-Citroën.

Ongoing trials with contactless technology

Trials into any technology are paramount to highlight any issues or flaws with a device, but with contactless technology it’s paramount. A few years ago Visa trialled a contactless chip into sunglasses, but it was then highlighted as a flaw that the chip was too easy to lose.

A recent article in the Guardian Newspaper recorded that fifty per cent of shoppers aged between the years of 25-34 would be open to different forms of contactless enabled technology, such as contactless chips embedded in their fingertips. This makes this particular user group the most welcoming of contactless enabled technology with a particular enthusiasm embraced towards it.

Debit cards soar to the top of the charts

In August this year (2017), debit cards overtook cash to become the number one payment method, with many industry experts citing the growth in contactless payments as a prominent reason behind the rise.

Wearable technology such as watches are already widely available and there has been countless trials of wave-and-pay amongst various industries which also saw a contactless ice cream van allowing lovers of contactless technology able to pay for their favourite ice cold guilty pleasure in a matter of moments.

At first, a sceptical public were slow to embrace the idea of contactless technology, but contactless accounted for over 39% of all Visa face-to-face payments in Europe in April 2017, up 28% from two years earlier.

In a recent report Barclaycard predicted that spending via contactless technology will soar by more than 300% over the next 48 months as 70% of Brits begin to use it more frequently for everyday purchases. Its research indicates that almost 60% of us now use it, with 71% saying they choose to pay this way more frequently than 12 months ago – indicating a more recent spike in popularity.

What have been your experiences of contactless technology, how has it enhanced or benefitted your business or personal shopping experience? As ever we’d love to know your thoughts on the matter. Comment below or call us on 0345 459 9984.