Monday, April 13, 2015

Will Cashless Payments Cause Us to Spend More?

Contactless payment is widely regarded by many as the future of payments. Many believe that technology such as the Card Case app or Apple Pay will start to dominate the payments world as they are easy and fast forms of payments. In some cases you may not even need a wallet anymore.

Businesses are looking increasingly at giving customers the easiest possible experience in terms of their consumer journey. They want to make sure that at the end of the journey the customer doesn’t have to struggle to part with their hard earned money by waiting in long queues or wondering which credit card has the most on. Many believe it is in the best interests of the customer to be able to swipe something quickly and walk out with your new purchase. However, as easy and convenient as it is, could it mean increased spending for us on a day to day basis?

New research has shown that many people, especially the millennial generation, find that paying with cash is an easier way to not spend as much money. Personally, as someone who is fresh out of University, with student debts and an apartment in a foreign country, I am trying very hard to make every dollar count. This means taking out a certain amount of money in cash at the start of each week and saying to myself, I will spend this much and no more. It is a very simple budgeting technique used by many; however contactless payment threatens it. Waving a phone over a scanner or quickly swiping a card, to me and I’m sure to many others, does not really feel like you are parting with money as it does with cash.

More convenient payment systems will mean even if you have no cash, a consumer will simply spend little bits here and there, especially with credit. Obviously internet statements are a good way of keeping track every now and again but that will not stop when you want that desert at a restaurant instead of having a cash limit.

So much of the excitement surrounding the rise of contactless payments is focused on how much it is for the customer without looking so closely about the benefits for businesses. An interesting development for me would be a form of inbuilt budgeting system within the app or form of payment. As contactless payment develops, as does the internet of things, meaning more interconnection. This could mean a weekly budget for those millennials trying hard to make the pennies count that is on a payment app which is connected to a calendar which may warn of upcoming events that could stop you getting that pair of jeans that may not strictly be necessary. In a world where businesses need to increasingly think about the consumer’s experience, helping them with little things like that could ultimately mean the difference between gaining or losing a customer.

About the Author: Harry Kempe, a marketing intern at IIR USA, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. He is a recent graduate of Newcastle University who previously worked for EMAP Ltd. and WGSN as a marketing assistant on events such as the World Architecture Festival, World Retail Congress and Global Fashion Awards. He can be reached at

Share this article with your social network, just click below to share now!

No comments: