A new survey of UK consumers indicates that COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the ways that people are paying for goods and services offline. The survey, commissioned by global technology mounting solution experts, Ergonomic Solutions, shows how ‘in-person’ payment habits have changed and look likely to continue to evolve.

60% of the survey respondents claim to have increased their use of contactless payments during the pandemic, with 63% saying they have reduced their use of cash since March 2020 and 57% planning to use contactless payment methods whenever they can in the future, even once all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

When asked about the top reasons that they choose contactless payment methods when available, the most popular answers from respondents include:

  • It’s more hygienic than using cash (57%)
  • The convenience of not needing my PIN (47%)
  • It’s quicker to pay (47%)
  • New £45 limit enables more contactless transactions (45%)
  • The convenience of not having to carry cash (39%)
  • It’s available in more places than ever (34%)
  • It makes me feel safer during the pandemic (27%)

The survey respondents also indicated the kinds of transactions that they want to be contact-free. As well as in all shops (57%), all restaurants (49%), and in all pubs and bars (42%), other top answers include:

  • On all forms of public transport (42%)
  • For all parking meters or car parks (36%)
  • In all hairdressing and beauty salons (35%)
  • Street vendors and kiosks (21%)
  • Charity collections (16%)

The survey indicates that there is an appetite from consumers for even more ways to pay using new technology. 37% of respondents said that they would be happy to use mobile points of sale (mPOS) rather than traditional tills, citing faster payments (79%), not needing cash to hand (36%) and better customer service (28%) as the main reasons why.

Mark Crysell, Regional Sales Director: Northern Europe at Ergonomic Solutions, said: “The UK retail and hospitality industries have been highlighting the rapid change experienced by their industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with a focus on a fast track evolution in payments. They understand the importance in embracing new technologies that make shopping and dining experiences safer, quicker and more convenient.” He continued, “The results of this survey underline that necessity, as customers look for different ways to pay in person, that support their own social distancing and personal welfare concerns.”