The issue of poor consumer awareness of contactless payments may turn nasty if someone doesn’t take more responsibility for educating consumers.
If everyone believed that contactless will become popular simply by consumers telling each other, then maybe that’s the end of the argument but there is no evidence as yet that this is happening.
This lack of responsibility has a familiar ring to it, when the various parties with an interest in compliance issues such as PCI argue over who should pay to educate, when really, they should all get together to agree a plan. The same lack of responsibility hangs over contactless, obscured entirely by the excitement of having the technology out there.
I’m all in favour of new ways to pay, who wouldn’t be if it makes that part of the shopping journey quicker and less painful, but so much of the debate is adversarial – let’s get rid of cash for a start. It’s becoming dogmatic, as if there were something wrong with cash, when in fact, most people want it and most people still make most of their payments with it. The British Retail Consortium’s latest report says that cash accounts for 58.27% of all transactions.
I hope of course that the whole thing will settle down and we will all get to a place where multiple forms of payment sit happily side by side and it becomes less about governments wanting to kill cash so they can collect the maximum amount of tax.
As new forms of payments become adopted, it is time for all parties – banks, acquirers, merchants and major technology vendors to work out how to educate the consumer.
Read the report here