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Thursday 27 October 2016

Britons ditching cheques and paying bills by contactless card, figures show

Published 01/09/2016 | 00:11

Contactless payments are on the increase
Contactless payments are on the increase

Britons are now more likely to pay by contactless card than with a cheque, new quarterly figures show.

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Less than a third of Britons (31%) have used cheques in the past three months, down from 40% who used them to make a payment in 2015, analysts Mintel said.

Cheques are now the least likely method British shoppers choose to pay with, behind contactless debit cards (39%) and contactless credit cards (34%).

Just 28% of consumers used a contactless debit card to make a payment last year, but this has grown to 39%, while the use of contactless credit cards has increased from 28% last year to 34%.

However, 54% of consumers are not comfortable with the potential for a completely cashless society.

Almost all Britons (97%) used cash in the three months to April, making this the most common payment method.

Mintel financial services analyst Rich Shepherd said: "Part of the reason for the rapid increase in the use of contactless cards is the simple fact that they are now much more widely accepted. They've moved beyond coffee shops and sandwich bars and are now entirely commonplace.

"However, the real shift in behaviour has only come over the last few years. It's easy to forget that contactless cards were first launched back in 2007, meaning that the technology has been on British high streets for almost a decade.

"People's payment habits change slowly, as can be seen with the cheque's stubborn refusal to disappear from the payments landscape."

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