Despite a boom in FinTech (financial technology), new research by leading price comparison website MoneySuperMarket has revealed that most Brits may not be ready to go digital with their finances.
Although over a third of Brits (39 per cent) use contactless technology to make payments, the vast majority are concerned about introducing alternative payment methods, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, into their day-to-day spending.
Despite advances in technology in the banking sector, and the onset of challenger banks, MoneySuperMarket’s Future of Payments report highlights that almost half (49 per cent) of 18-34 year olds would be reluctant to make an instant payment via fingertip – whereby a microchip is inserted into your finger and linked to your bank account.
This figure only slightly differs throughout the various age brackets, with 47 per cent of 35-54 year olds and 52 per cent of over 55s saying they’d opt out.
The sentiment is similar when broken down by region, with Plymouth ranking top as the most apprehensive UK city for fingerprint payment (65 per cent), followed by Manchester (52 per cent).
At the other end of the scale, those in Belfast are the most likely to opt into payments by fingertip, with one fifth of those surveyed voicing their support (21 per cent).
The research also finds that 44 per cent of Brits would shy away from facial recognition as a form of payment, with almost half (46 per cent) of those aged 18-34 and over 55 saying they’d opt out.
One of the reasons could be that Brits prefer traditional methods of managing their finances, with 65 per cent favouring traditional banks for security.
This is particularly evident in over 55s (72 per cent), with 63 percent of 18-34 year olds also citing their preference for traditional banks.
This figure rockets for those in Manchester, with 74 per cent citing traditional banks as the most secure method, compared to just over half (53 per cent) of those in Glasgow and Belfast.
“The nature of how we spend our money is changing and it’s only a matter of time before some of these payment methods become a reality,” said MoneySuperMarket money expert Sally Francis-Miles.
“Twenty years ago, contactless payment was unheard of and while there was a reluctance to use it when it was first introduced, it’s now used without question by millions.
“It’s understandable that having a chip inserted in your finger to make payments is too advanced for now, but in 20 years’ time, it could be a different story.
“That said, it’s unlikely that paper money will disappear in the near future, though it’s clear that advances in payment technology are altering our spending habits.”
According to the research, the most commonly used payment method is contactless card (39 per cent), followed by cash (31 per cent) and chip and pin (27 per cent).
However, when asked about a potential cashless society in the future, over half (55 per cent) cited concerns over contactless payments and security.
The research also indicates that an attachment to cash still remains for many, with just under half (49 per cent) of those surveyed still leaning towards cash for payments of £5 or less.