Contactless Payments Were Surging Prior To COVID-19 Pandemic, Study Finds

By Steve Wynne-Jones
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Contactless Payments Were Surging Prior To COVID-19 Pandemic, Study Finds

A new study has found that contactless payment technology has seen a surge in use during the pandemic, having already experienced increased demand prior to the onset of COVID-19.

The ABI Research study found that 45% of consumers across nine countries (United States, China, Japan, South Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany and Italy) use contactless payments, with more than two-thirds of customers having two or more cards stored in their digital wallet.

'Positive Experience'

The survey also reported that customer experience using contactless or NFC technology tended to be positive, with 88% of respondents reporting a 'consistently positive user experience'.

In addition, 70% were confident with the security that contactless cards and mobile wallets provide.

“Adoption of contactless technology is surging as consumers look for convenient, secure, and safer ways to pay, unlock, and connect with the world around them,” commented Mike McCamon, executive director of NFC Forum, a non-profit organisation aimed at advancing the use of NFC technology. "Our members and supporters are making a ‘contactless lifestyle’ a reality for more and more consumers every day.”


The aim of the survey, which featured more than 2,000 respondents across nine countries, was to gauge consumer adoption, familiarity and experiences with NFC technology both at a global and regional level.

Pandemic Surge

"The pandemic has created a surge in NFC usage," commented Phil Sealy, research director, ABI Research. "This survey shows that NFC use in payment scenarios pre-COVID-19 was high but, post-COVID-19, we predict that NFC will be extended to other use cases as consumers are showing an increasing reliance on the technology.”

A number of differences were reported across the different markets in which the study was undertaken – the UK, reported the highest level of NFC contactless usage, while China had one of the highest penetration rates for contactless cards, but along with Germany, the lowest usage.

"For mobile wallets, Apple and Google Pay remain the most popular mobile payment platforms, although there are regional variations, such as extremely strong adoption of Samsung Pay in its home country of South Korea, Huawei Pay in China, and correspondingly low Google Pay usage in China," said Andrew Zignani, principal analyst, ABI Research.

© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.

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