LONDON: Consumer concerns about data privacy and security are holding back a trend towards digital ‘frictionless’ payments, according to a survey of five mature markets.

For its study, entitled Lost in Translation: Payment Trends 2018, finance transaction firm Paysafe polled more than 5,000 consumers from the UK, US, Canada, Germany and Austria to examine attitudes to new and traditional payment methods.

Despite widespread awareness of app-based ‘frictionless’ payment options, it emerged that only a quarter (23%) of consumers have used them, while just a fifth (18%) have tried out a voice-activated payments system.

One of the reasons for these low levels of adoption is because half (50%) of consumers in these markets regard fraud as the greatest barrier, while another 48% have concerns about how their personal data is used.

When it comes to voice-activated systems, two-thirds of respondents (65%) think they are not secure, while a similar proportion (63%) worry about being overcharged if they use this type of service.

And with more retailers looking to remove checkouts, it appears global consumers are less keen on the move with more than half (56%) considering checkout-free shops to be too risky – or at least they would want to know more before using them.

That said, contactless payment has continued to grow rapidly in the UK, where 54% of consumers used this method in the previous month, compared to 19% of Canadian consumers and just 3% of Americans.

One of the findings that Paysafe said it found surprising is that cash continues to be the most common form of payment with 87% of consumers using cash to make a purchase in the previous month.

ATM visits are up too – 83% had visited one in the last month compared to 75% in 2017 – although half (49%) of consumers carry less cash than a year ago.

And this trend is particularly apparent in countries with high contactless adoption like the UK, where 62% of consumers carry less cash, falling from an average of £33 last year to £21 in 2018.

Commenting on the findings, Oscar Nieboer, CMO at Paysafe Group, said: “Despite the apparent benefits of low-friction payment technologies, these findings suggest many consumers aren’t ready to lose visibility of the payment process.

“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.”

Sourced from Paysafe; additional content by WARC staff