New research has revealed that 42% of contactless payment users would like to see the limit for transactions increased, with of them 38% saying it could be £50 or higher, while 9% would like to be able to make payments of £100 or more.

Currently, individual contactless card transactions are limited to £30 but research commissioned by GoCompare Money, found that many users want the figure to rise to enable them to pay for a wider range of goods and services.

The research found the supermarket is the most popular place for contactless payments with groceries accounting for 79% of transactions.  Other common everyday contactless purchases include coffee, tea and other beverages (48%), snacks (46%), drinks in pubs and clubs (39%), clothes and accessories (38%) restaurant meals (36%) and transport fares (30%).

Contactless technology gives shoppers a fast and easy way to pay without having to fish around in their wallet or purse for cash or tap in their PIN every time they use their card.  Most users (73%) find it more convenient than traditional forms of payment. However, GoCompare Money is warning that a potentially toxic mix of growing contactless payments coupled with the rapid demise in paper current account statements is causing some people to lose track of their spending.

Most contactless users (74%) say that they also now receive paperless statements through an app or online banking, only 26% said they receive paper bank statements.  The research revealed that for some people (17%) using tap-to-pay leads them to lose track of their spending:

  • 13% of users said they worry the new technology leads them to spend more than they intended;
  • 12% said it had increased their number of impulse purchases;
  • 8% of users admitted to not associating contactless payments with real money.

Commenting on the research, Georgie Frost, consumer advocate at GoCompare Money said, “Since the introduction of contactless cards in 2007, the speed and ease of their use has seen millions of us embrace the technology for day-to-day shopping.  But, from our research it’s clear that simply waving a card or smartphone over a payment reader leaves some people disassociated from the money they’re spending and can lead them to make more impulse purchases.  Even with a payment limit capped at £30 – frequent, unmindful spending can quickly add-up and it’s all too easy to spend more than you realise.

“No matter whether you use contactless payments, traditional cards or cash, it’s really important to keep on top of your finances by checking your bank and card statements regularly.  It’s also sensible to check though the payments on your statement to make sure payments haven’t been fraudulently taken. Retailers don’t automatically issue receipts for contactless transactions, however, you can always ask for one.  Keeping receipts will not only help you keep track of your spending but will enable to you check whether you have been correctly charged.

“While technology makes it easier to spend money it can also make it easier to keep abreast of your spending.  There are several apps available which help you budget, track and analyse your spending.”