Are contactless payments approaching saturation point?

Are contactless payments approaching saturation point
Contactless payments in Australia

Contactless payments! What a pleasure. No need for swiping and waiting for the machine to reach the network and the bank.

No more abused magstripes no longer reading on the machines. It’s quick, efficient and has revolutionised the way we shop and pay.

If you have ever been in the store and stood in a long and tedious queue, simply to unpack all your groceries and then scan them all one by one, you will know that anything longer than required is a royal pain in the butt! Contactless methods were introduced to minimise the time spent at a shopping counter and allow for ease of use while maximizing security. By simply tapping your Visa card on the machine, the transaction is scanned, paid for and a receipt printed, all within 1 second! 

Have you swapped over to contactless payments?

It’s no secret that the Aussies have converted to the contactless payment method, with more and more individuals choosing this method over the method or swiping and using cash. Stats from Australian banks have even started painting a picture where the majority of Australians using Visa, are pretty much sold on the idea of only ever using this method to pay for anything instore.

This was found during a release of data from Westpac where Visa cardholders were increasingly going contactless through the year 2016 and escalating to a whole new number of individuals using it in 2017 and beyond.

A trend on the rise Visa paywave

Visa paywave is pretty large in terms of its popularity, yet it’s still growing! There were over 325 million contactless payments made in 2017. That is a mammoth increase from the year prior to that. This rate of growth is a whispered promise of what’s to come in the near future. The more it continues, however, the more questions it starts to raise.

The preferred method for over 90% of purchases

Just taking a look at the last two years when it comes to the payment behaviour of consumers, it’s easy to see that the ratio of contactless to other methods, such as swiping with a magstripe continues to increase as well. When the percentage continues to grow year on year, then we know that we have a trend that is soaring towards potential saturation.

Who uses contactless payments the most?

Australians, in general, are buying into contactless more and more. But who are the main contributors per area that choose to only be a part of the new tech-savvy way of paying for goods? Even though the number of Visa payWave payments is exorbitant where the Westpac Group is concerned, it was discovered that St.George customers are the ones with the highest usage of this method.

To paint a picture of just how high this usage was in comparison to Westpac as a whole, St.George customers that used contactless equated to a soaring 94.6%, while Westpac customers came in at 81.3%. In other research, it was found that contactless payments are used for larger credit purchases than the typical debit purchases.

It’s quick, it’s easy, it’s the way forward

Even though not every industry caters to contactless payments, it is being diversified. When it comes to identifying that which consumers choose to use their contactless method for the most, it appears to be food. Eating out, eating in, grocery shopping and fast food outlets, with the latter being the most popular of all. It was shown that 98% of all fast food restaurant payments during the year 2017 were paid through contactless. Healthcare came in quite low at only 59% being paid through the means of contactless.

It was therefore deduced that contactless is simply preferred for its speed. And when is speed ideal? Typically, when you’re getting anything food related. Be it after work on your way home to feed the family, standing around any longer than you have to is highly frustrating, especially when the shops are full of those doing the exact same thing, trying to get in, get out and get home.

Is contactless secure?

Taking into account how largely popular contactless is in Australia, simply goes to show that it’s not just the convenience of the method, but that there is also faith in the security of this method. If anything is ever avoided when it’s trending, it’s usually due to fear. The stats show that Aussies are comfortable and happy to keep moving forward with this payment method for the large and foreseeable future.

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