The UK is still far from mass adoption of proximity mobile payments

Tyrone Stewart

Mobile payments POSProximity mobile payments are slowly becoming more popular in the UK, but are still a long way from mass adoption with 22.2 per cent of UK smartphone users expected to use a phone to pay for goods and services at the point of sales (POS) this year.

According to eMarketer, 9.2m people in the UK are expected to use a mobile phone for to pay at the POS in 2018, with the sector growing 17 per cent.

Proximity mobile payments will continue to grow at double-digit pace through 2020, but will continually slow through to 2021 – where growth will dip to 8.5 per cent.

China has the largest mobile proximity payments in the world, with 77.5 per cent of smartphone users predicted to pay via a mobile at the POS this year. In Europe, the UK will sit below the likes of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

“There’s no doubt that mobile proximity payments are beginning to get a foothold in the UK,” said eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher. “But they face some tough competition that just isn’t present in many other countries. Any standard issue bank card in the UK, both debit and credit, now comes with contactless technology as standard. Mobile proximity payment providers need to convince consumers that their tech offers benefits above and beyond this well-entrenched, and incredibly convenient, method of proximity payment.”