As frictionless payments struggle for traction, consumers cling to cash

Consumer concerns about data security and privacy are hampering the move to frictionless payments, according to Lost in Transaction: Payment Trends 2018, a report from Paysafe, a provider of payment solutions.

Of more than 5,000 consumers polled for the study:

  • 50 percent cited fraud as the greatest barrier to using frictionless payments; 48 percent expressed concerns around the use of their data.
  • 65 percent thought voice-activated systems are not secure; 63 percent worried about being overcharged.
  • 56 percent reported that checkout-free stores — where smart technologies tally items in the shopping basket and automate payments — sound too risky, or said they'd need to know more before using them.

Meanwhile, cash continues to thrive as the most common form of payment, Paysafe found. The great majority (87 percent) of consumers said they had used it within the past month to make a purchase.

ATM visits were up too — 83 percent had visited one in the last month compared to 75 percent in 2017. However, about half of consumers said they carry less cash than they did a year ago, Paysafe said.

This is particularly apparent in countries with high contactless adoption such as the U.K., where 62 percent carry less cash — an average of 21 pounds ($28) in 2018, compared with 33 pounds ($44) in 2017.

However, 74 percent of both Canadians and Britons said that contactless has become so convenient that they don't require physical cash

Paysafe said its research found that three things seemed to be inhibiting consumers' use of invisible payments:

  • 28 percent of respondents are concerned systems may inadvertently buy things.
  • 31 percent are worried about losing control of their spending.
  • 37 percent said they were already losing track of their subscription based payments and are thus wary of adding new services such as fridge-based re-ordering.

"Despite the apparent benefits of low-friction payment technologies, these findings suggest many consumers aren't ready to lose visibility of the payment process," Paysafe Group Chief Marketing Officer Oscar Nieboer said. "It's clear that the benefits are not unilaterally agreed upon, with cultural and infrastructure trends at play, and it may be some time before adoption is widespread. In the meantime, there's a need to continue servicing the cash consumer."


Research was completed in Q2 by London-based agency Loudhouse, which polled 5,056 consumers from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Germany and Austria. Respondents came from six different age groups and a variety of different professions.


Topics: Debit / Credit, Security, Transaction Processing, Trends / Statistics, Vault Cash / Cash Management


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