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Contactless card

Date: 1st Sep 2015

Over half of UK population thinks that cash could be on its way out

Survey reveals increasing confidence in contactless payment as limit increases to £30.

As the 1 September increase in the limit for contactless card payments from £20 to £30 arrives, a One Poll survey of UK adults commissioned by UK-based consumer credit business MBNA shows that cash could be on its way out.

With over half of survey respondents believing that cash could become a thing of the past, 60 percent of those who use contactless payment say that it is simply easier than cash, and one-third of us already have days when we don’t carry cash at all.

For those who have already taken the plunge with their contactless cards, that slightly nervous ‘first time’ required a little help from others. Thirty six percent said their first use was prompted by a sales assistant, while 24 percent watched someone else in the queue before trying the technology and 19 percent were encouraged by a friend or family member.

Contactless payment, which involves holding a contactless payment card over the screen of a card reader machine carrying the contactless symbol, is becoming more and more popular in the UK as a quick and easy method of payment.

MBNA is embracing the increase in the limit for contactless card payments from £20 to £30 and, based on in-depth research amongst its own customers, predicts that contactless purchases will take off in stores such as supermarkets, DIY stores, garden centres and small specialist shops, which will benefit from the new £30 limit.

Ian O’Doherty, CEO of MBNA, said: “MBNA welcomes the new £30 contactless card payment limit. We have always been a pioneer of contactless payment technology, and our customers were early adopters – today, 100 percent of our cards can be used to make contactless payments. As a result, our customers are already amongst the biggest users of the technology.

“The £10 increase in the limit will give our customers greater flexibility in moving beyond lower value purchases when they shop, and we’re expecting to see contactless usage continue to grow quickly over the next few months as new stores come on board and consumers become more confident in trying contactless technology themselves.”

Sainsbury’s recently announced that it will offer contactless payment in all its stores before the end of 2015, while supermarkets Waitrose and Morrisons already accept contactless payment. Other high street shops where contactless can be used include Boots, Starbucks and Marks & Spencer. More information on contactless payment, including participating retailers, can be found at


One Poll survey background

  • MBNA commissioned OnePoll (21/08/15) to carry out an exclusive opinion survey of shoppers across the UK looking at the use of cash and uptake of contactless payment.
  • A ‘domino effect’ is apparent: people first need to see contactless payment being modelled by a sales assistant, family member or friend, or someone else in the queue in order to start using it themselves.
  • Some 40 percent of people are now using contactless as a payment method.
  • One in seven respondents has already made a purchase using a smartphone rather than a card.
  • Regionally, West Midlands compares well with London as confident adopters of contactless.
  • Forty percent of people say they “never or rarely carry cash these days.”
  • Full survey details available on request.
  • More information on contactless payment is available from the UK Cards Association:
  • In 2014 contactless payments rocketed to £2.3 billion, an increase of over 300 percent from 2013, according to the UK Cards Association.