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E-commerce fuels growth in payment card usage

21 February 2013 - 09:57 by Simon Crisp

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Over the past decade the number of people making payments using debit cards has risen by 400 per cent, according to a new study from the Payments Council.

The report looks at historic data and the way the market has shifted since 2001, with cash payments decreasing as the use of cards has risen.

The authors state that this is as a direct result in the growth of safe shopping online, since millions of people in Britain now use e-commerce sites to buy the majority of the items they need, rather than handing over cash for them in-store.

Spokesperson, Adrian Kamellard, said that there has been a subtle yet significant shift in the payment habits of people in the UK, with behaviours changing to the point that the cost of making payment card transactions has actually been significantly reduced.

Kamellard also predicts that the dominance of payment cards is going to be short lived, because over the next decade, it seems likely that making payments via mobile phone will become the most popular avenue for transactions.

He goes so far as to say that the wallet might become a thing of the past, as consumers move onto using mobiles to buy items and pay for services, both on the high street and via safe shopping online.

Mobile handsets with NFC technology allow for contactless payments to be made at compatible kiosks across the UK. Meanwhile, it seems that future computer technology will also come with NFC connectivity, allowing people to use it when at an e-commerce checkout, rather than having to enter their card details.

The rise of the mobile and the extinction of the wallet may sound outlandish at the moment, but current trends certainly point towards this state of affairs becoming a reality.