17 million Brits ready to pay with wearable devices

Overwhelming success of contactless cards peaks shopper demand for wearable payments

February 22, 2018 – One quarter (26%) of British shoppers expect to start using “tap and go” contactless payments with a smartwatch, bracelet, keyring or other forms of wearable payments, according to new figures from Mastercard.

In the UK, contactless spend on Mastercard grew by 139% in the last year, and the huge success of contactless has seen many Brits willing to explore new ways to pay. The figures come as the Netherlands embarks on a wearable payments trial for Dutch bank ABN AMRO. Alongside this continued growth, barriers to using contactless have also decreased. Concerns around fraud see the greatest decrease in the UK (-31%), building trust in Mastercard contactless technology.

Banks across Europe are also working with Mastercard to deliver this new wave in contactless payments. ABN AMRO is one of the first banks to enable worldwide payments with a wearable that’s linked to a current account, with a pilot for 500 customers of different age groups, who will be experiencing what it’s like to make contactless payments with a ring, watch, bracelet or keyring.

“Europe leads the world in contactless payments and its overwhelming success has created a demand for even greater convenience,” said Paolo Battiston, Executive Vice President Digital Payments & Labs Europe at Mastercard. “Shoppers trust in contactless is greater than ever, and in turn it seems they are ready to take this one stage further by trying contactless through connected devices. Pilots like the one we’re involved with in The Netherlands will empower consumers in the digital economy.”

Mastercard continues to work with retailers to help meet expectations surrounding wearable payments, with 42% growth in the number of retail locations accepting contactless across Europe. In the UK, 36% of all in-store transactions are contactless. The Netherlands provides an ideal test bed for wearable payments because 80% of terminals in the country already accept contactless payments. More than 50% of payments in the Netherlands are also made with contactless according to ABN AMRO. (A video showcase of this pilot launch can be accessed here.)

“With customer expectations clear and the new technology available today, the time has come to drop cumbersome methods of payment and embrace a better consumer experience through wearable payments,” said Yvonne Duits, Product Owner Payments at ABN AMRO. “We care about making things convenient for consumers and offering everyone a payment method that suits their preferences and this pilot is testament to that.”

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Notes to editors

All data included from Mastercard and Maestro as well as a study conducted of 50,747 people by GCT Research, Inc within the following countries: UK (3,416 people), France, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden.

The UK population is an estimated 65.6 million, according to ONS (2017).

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, travelling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

For further information please contact:

Adam Keal
Adam.Keal@mastercard.com
07710 916144