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Should we be more cautious about contactless? 1 in 4 young adults with contactless cards say they’ve increased their spending

Should we be more cautious about contactless? 1 in 4 young adults with contactless cards say they’ve increased their spending
  •     73% of Brits own either a contactless credit or debit card
  •     It’s the small day-to-day purchases that are often paid for with contactless

New research suggests young people’s spending may have seen a significant increase as a result of contactless credit and debit card payments.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by financial services provider 118 118 Money, surveyed 1,534 Brits with a contactless credit or debit card, and found almost one in four 18-24 year olds (24%) think their spending has gone up as a result of owning a contactless card.

However, it seems this increased expenditure may only be an issue for generation Y, with older age groups not seeing as dramatic a change in their finances.

Of those surveyed who own a contactless card, a staggering 93% of people aged 55 and above said that having contactless has made no difference to their spending habits. On top of that, 6% of 45-54 year olds actually think their spending has decreased since getting contactless.

With 73% of Brits in possession of a contactless credit or debit card, the research found that the draw of using this new payment method is for smaller ticket items that can potentially add up to a lot at the end of the month, such as hot drinks, toiletries and eating out.

The top 5 products and services Brits with contactless are more likely to buy with these cards:

Product or service Percentage who are buying this product or service using contactless payment
Coffee, tea or other hot drinks 33%
Eating out (e.g. lunch, evening meal or cafe) 28%
Toiletries (e.g. shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste etc.) 25%
Transport tickets (e.g. bus, train tickets) 20%
Newspapers and magazines 18%

Commenting on the rise of contactless payments, Mark Burgess, Chief Operating Officer at 118 118 Money, said: “It is perhaps unsurprising that the younger generation are the biggest contactless spenders. Young people’s lifestyles are so fast-paced and with there being such a variety of temptations, like the odd coffee or lunch out, using a contactless card is the quick and easy payment option.

“With the majority of us using contactless, it seems that our main expenditure is on the small things rather than larger ticket items. However, we still need to be cautious that these little spends don’t add up to an unexpected bill at the end of the month!

“Our advice would be to regularly check your account when using contactless payments to ensure you’re not spending more than you think on unnecessary items, and shop around for the best deal to avoid impulse purchases with a tap of your card.”

For more information on the rise of contactless payments, visit:

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