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One in Three UK Consumers in Favor of Increasing Contactless Spending Limit

Monday, August 10, 2020

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NAPLES, Fla./LONDON, U.K.—August 10, 2020 —One in three UK consumers (32 percent) would like to see a further increase of the current £45 contactless spending limit, according to a YouGov survey of more than 2,000 UK consumers commissioned by ACI Worldwide (NASDAQ: ACIW), a leading global provider of real-time digital payments software and solutions. Among those in favor of an increase, 40 percent say they want the limit to increase to £100.

The UK spending limit for contactless payments had been increased in April from £30 to £45 in response to its surge at the height of the Coronavirus lockdown.“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a massive accelerator and has led to behavioral change among consumers that normally would take years," said Andrew Quartermaine, vice president, merchant solutions, ACI Worldwide. “As shopping habits have changed, so have the attitudes toward alternative payments. Our research indicates that this shift is not temporary but rather the new norm, and retailers need to take note.”

Key Findings

  • Increased Use of Digital Payments – When asked about behavioral changes:
    • 63 percent of UK adults said that since the beginning of the lockdown they have made more card payments
    • 80 percent have made more contactless payments
    • 24 percent have made more mobile wallet payments
  • Safety is a Priority for Consumers – When asked why they had used more digital payments:
    • 57 percent of respondents said it ‘feels safer’
    • 53 percent reported that the shops they are visiting regularly had stopped accepting cash payments as often
    • 36 percent cited ease of use
  • Retailers Should do More to Ensure Safety of Consumers – When asked about ways retailers can reduce the need to have to touch surfaces when shopping and paying for items in-store:
    • 39 percent want retailers to remove the minimum card spending limits
    • 42 percent want a greater range of delivery options with more time slots
    • 31 percent want more click-and-collect options
    • 30 percent want more assistants on shop floors who can help process transactions
  • Changing Shopping Habits – When asked about how they shop:
    • 21 percent of respondents said that since the beginning of the lockdown they do more grocery shopping online
    • 19 percent shop for groceries in smaller supermarkets and local shops
    • 25 percent shop less in general to save money
  • Long-term Changes – When asked what changes they will make:
    • 32 percent said they will use cash less often even when ‘life goes back to normal’
    • 24 percent will continue to use more electronic payments for convenience
    • 21 percent will continue to shop more ‘local’ and avoid big supermarkets
    • 16 percent will move to buying more of their groceries online

“One of the key findings of this survey is that yes, there has been a big shift to eCommerce, but consumers also want to go back into stores,” continued Quartermaine. “However, safety is a big concern and consumers want retailers to put measures in place to make shopping safe and convenient whatever channel they choose.”


Note to editors: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,081 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between July 23-24, 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.K. adults (aged 18+).

About ACI Worldwide

ACI Worldwide is a global software company that provides mission-critical real-time payment solutions to corporations. Customers use our proven, scalable and secure solutions to process and manage digital payments, enable omni-commerce payments, present and process bill payments, and manage fraud and risk. We combine our global footprint with local presence to drive the real-time digital transformation of payments and commerce.

© Copyright ACI Worldwide, Inc. 2020 
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