Dirty Money – A reason to go contactless?
Things are moving swiftly in the payments market. More and more people that I know, no longer carry any cash around with them. Gone are the days of being weighed down by copious amounts of small change jangling in your trouser pocket. Notes are also slowly in the decrease. The Payments Council announced in May 2015 that card and automated payments had for the first time overtaken notes and coins as the top way to pay.
On Stride Financial carried out research in late 2014 to find out the average number of people who touch a £10 banknote in a typical 36 month lifespan….a whopping 594 people! However, this is topped by the £20 which is the most popular banknote with over 2 billion in circulation and 2,328 “touches” in its 113 month lifespan. If that is not enough to push you to contactless payments, think about it…all those people touching your banknote. Indeed, in 2012, a survey (for Radox) of over 1,000 people in London, Birmingham and Liverpool found that 1 in 7 banknotes has traces of faeces and E.Coli on it. Sorry, Birmingham, you came out worst in the survey as having the highest number of “dirty” notes.
The solution is here now. Many credit cards already have the Contactless feature but this week, Barclaycard issued bPay wristbands, stickers and fobs. So with a flick of your wrist or keyring, you can make a payment. Apple Pay continues this trend. This will enable users to buy goods by tapping their iPhones on contactless card readers. The Payments Council also advised in May that spending on contactless cards has trebled in the last year to more than £2m.
One major concern I know I have had, is around fraud. In an era where identity theft is a significant fear, how secure are contactless devices? Rest assured, in the first half of 2014, fraud losses were less than 1p per £100 spent. Contactless cards also offer the same legal protection from fraud as chip and pin, so you will get your money returned. Apple Pay will also have an additional security measure called tokenisation. This means card details saved on a mobile, never get passed onto the shop.
One day soon, your phone could be all you need to take shopping. Perhaps my next blog should be death of the handbag?!