‘Silver spenders’ are embracing contactless technology, with over 60’s using Barclaycard ‘Touch and go’ up 116 per cent
It may be stereotyping, but when it comes to the over 60’s they like to stick with tradition. Rather than embrace new technologies like instant payments or bank transfers you are most likely to find a cheque in a birthday or Christmas card from an auntie or grandparent.
It may be argued that it’s more personal to receive a cheque, or even traditional but the subsequent hunt for the ever decreasing branch of your bank on the high street – plus the fact you can wait up to 5 days to access the funds – new technology has it advantages.
It may have been thought that with the introduction of contactless payments including “tap and go”, debit and credit cards the older generation would fall behind in embracing this new technology. However, when it comes to contactless, the UK’s over 60s are well and truly bucking the trend and ending the myth of avoiding advances in tech.
Data released by Barclaycard as part of its latest Contactless Spending Index shows that the number of ‘silver spenders’ using ‘touch and go’ payments increased by 116 per cent in the last 12 months, showing that the older generation has finally jumped on the contactless bandwagon that their younger counterparts joined several years ago.
Due to the quick uptake by 18-45 year olds growth has obviously slowed in that age group. Statistics show that the 18-24 age group, users have risen by 49 per cent, while for 26-45 year olds the figure is up 65 per cent, but when it comes to 46-60 year olds there has been a 97 per cent increase in the use of the technology.
Barclaycard’s contactless payment service for Android mobiles, which launched in January this year, has a higher proportion of users over 50 than those under 25, with the oldest customer registered being 86 years young.
The upward trend in the popularity of contactless payments which has doubled in the last 12 months, rising by 123 per cent is largely down to the fact that more retailers have embraced the technology. From paying for a taxi to grapping a hot pasty or coffee retailers are helping provide a handy alternative to cash. This has been further helped following the limit for a single payment that could be made using contactless increasing by £10 to £30, in September 2015, giving consumer a handy alternative to cash
Retailers are also benefiting, but specifically discount stores who have seen a massive 431 per cent surge in transactions made contactlessly in the last year alone. In second place were gift card & novelty stores up 261 per cent, followed by service stations in third, where spending has climbed by 245 per cent.
|Position||Category||Annual spending increase *|
|2||Gift card & novelty shops||261%|
|4||Candy & confectionery stores||227%|
|5||Hotels, motels, and resorts||223%|
|6||Pubs and bars||202%|
|9||Eating places restaurants||125%|
Overall, London continues to lead the way for contactless debit and credit cards with 36 per cent of eligible transactions (those up to £30) made contactlessly – up from three in ten just two years ago. This continued rise is largely accounted for by the increase in popularity of contactless travel on London’s tubes, trains and buses. Yet with a number of businesses outside of London continuing to adopt the technology, rapid levels of growth are expected to continue across the UK throughout the rest of 2016.
Across the UK, Manchester has seen the biggest increase in contactless usage, with the city’s residents spending 247 per cent more in the last 12 months. Also seeing big leaps in contactless spending are Glasgow (243 per cent), Cardiff (206 per cent), Edinburgh (206 per cent) and Blackpool (205 per cent).
|City||Annual spending increase *|
As more retailers invest and implement the technology consumers will shift further toward this type of payment. But it’s not just consumers who benefit from the increase in card payment because accepting contactless cards helps retailers attract new custom and improve cash flow. I wrote an article a few months ago about the debate in London with cab drivers who are fighting being forced by Transport for London for all taxis to accept credit and debit cards.
A minority – but a significant one – are fighting the plan because of concerns relating to the cost of accepting cards. However, on the other side of the debate passengers can end up taking the taxi at the back of the rank as it is the only one to accept card payments, generating more business for him whilst the other lose trade. There are also
The fact is prior to March 2015, merchants were charged a flat rate for accepting debit cards which were in the region of 25 pence per transaction; this was fixed no matter how much the customer was paying, meaning it was the most cost effective card payment for businesses. Now, the new charges mean you either agree to a flat 1 per cent charge on the total value of the transaction or can opt for a 55 pence fixed charged per transaction.
As for the over 60’s embracing contactless tech, Adam Herson, Product Director at Barclaycard said: “Our data released today shows that the nation’s ‘silver spenders’ are anything but laggards when it comes to adopting new payments technology.
“Contactless provides a number of benefits – it’s quicker, easier and allows transactions up to £30 to be made securely without a PIN – so it’s not surprising that it’s fast becoming a favourite way among the over 60s.
“Whether we’re stocking up on a few essentials on the way home from work, filling the car with fuel, or ordering a round of drinks in a busy bar on a Friday night – every second counts for today’s busy shopper. We expect this upward trend in contactless spending to continue to go from strength to strength throughout the rest of 2016.”