Cash on tap - over 50s are big users of contactless payments

Thursday 27 April 2017

  • 12 million over 50s actively using contactless payments
  • A third like not having to carry cash
  • Over 50s in London are the biggest users 

Almost 12 million over 50s are actively using contactless payments with one in five tapping the plastic up to three times a week according to research by Saga Money.

The survey of almost 10,000 shows that half (50%) of over 50s use their contactless cards when doing the weekly shop, whilst almost a third (29%) like the convenience when grabbing a coffee and one in ten (10%) use contactless when picking up a newspaper.

The over 50s not only like saving time at supermarket checkouts they also like freeing up space in their pockets with a third (32%) saying that they like not having to carry cash around with them. And with the modern-day burden of remembering a glut of passwords and PIN numbers a quarter (25%) are happy with one less thing to memorise before heading to the shops.   

Contactless payments are also benefiting older people out on their travels as a quarter (25%) are using the PIN-free option to get around on the underground, in taxis and when passing through road tolls.

Shopkeepers and businesses in London are seeing the most over 50s tap-to-pay with 44% using their contactless card at least one a week followed closely by shoppers in the North East (42%) and East Midlands (40%). Those in Yorkshire are most likely to use their PIN with just 33% opting to speed things up at the checkout over the course of a week.

However, despite quick payment popularity amongst the over 50s, not everyone is entirely comfortable with the ease at which their funds can be accessed.   

Seven in ten (70%) admit to worrying about the security of contactless payments and almost half (48%) say they believe the availability of contactless cards will cause an increase in pickpocketing.

While contactless cards may be protected in the same way as normal debit and credit cards, if your card is lost or stolen you should contact the bank as soon as possible so your bank can block it straightaway. 

Gloria Barker, head of Credit Cards at Saga Money, commented: “The over 50s clearly value the convenience of contactless cards for making it easy and quick to pay for everything from groceries to tube tickets. And it’s obvious that not having to remember a PIN or carry cash has made contactless payments popular amongst older people.   

“This is why we are pleased to announce that our credit card has now gone contactless, enabling our customers to benefit from the technology.”


Notes to editors:

1 Populus interviewed 9,586 Saga respondents, all aged 50+ online between 21 and 26 March 2017. Data was weighted to be nationally representative. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information

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