Growing numbers of UK adults see the smartphone as their preferred method of payment over the traditional credit or debit card, according to a new study.
Research carried out by Mastercard specified that 41 per cent of UK consumers now hold this view.
The Impact of Innovation study from the financial provider explored the attitudes to technology among 23,000 consumers in 23 different countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa.
People in the UK are shown to be ready for the next wave of innovation and want to see it in different aspects of life, according to the findings of the report, with the UK singled out as one of the most digitally mature markets in the world.
Almost two-thirds of British consumers (63 per cent) believe that there are some areas that need innovation more than others but that in general, it is having a positive impact on society.
An estimated three in four respondents said they believe there is already enough or too many digital services in online networking. Because of this, they suggested other areas of society are in greater need of digitisation and innovation, such as public transport and healthcare.
The findings emphasised the fact that when it comes to making payments, UK adults are more than ready to embrace the advantages offered by the latest technology.
The tipping point of people wanting to use cards for more transactions than cash on the high street was reached in 2015 – and a key driver for this is the simplicity being able to make lower value payments using contactless cards and devices.
Many UK shoppers now consider contactless payments to be second nature and with this functionality offered by mobile payment services such as Apple and Android Pay, consumers appear to be increasingly inclined to pick their smartphone as the preferred alternative to cash and cards.
According to the report, some 82 per cent of people are also using their smartphone to shop online or using e-commerce services like Uber). Indeed, a second tipping point was reached in January this year, when mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets started to account for 51 per cent of all online sales.
Mastercard said these twin milestones point to the increasing importance of smartphones with regard to spending habits – both instore and online.
Head of digital payments for Mastercard UK & Ireland Elliott Goldenberg said: “We see the smartphone as the remote control for consumers' financial lives. It will be essential for authenticating transactions, controlling your account, managing payment card functions and more. It is an incredibly powerful and practical tool for payments.
“One of the key drivers to digital and financial inclusion is the role of the mobile. Every member of the population should have access to basic financial products and digital connectivity – and so innovation must ensure that technology creates greater opportunities rather than widening the gap.”