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One in four young adults with contactless cards say they’ve increased their spending

Money saving advice
By Editorial on Jan 24th, 2017   @freelotteriesuk

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

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 per cent) 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 per cent of people aged 55 and above said that having contactless has made no difference to their spending habits.

On top of that, 6 per cent of 45-54 year olds actually think their spending has decreased since getting contactless.

With 73 per cent 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 five products and services Brits with contactless are more likely to buy with these cards are:
- Coffee, tea or other hot drinks (33 per cent)
- Eating out (e.g. lunch, evening meal or cafe) (28 per cent)
- Toiletries (e.g. shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste etc.) (25 per cent)
- Transport tickets (e.g. bus, train tickets) (20 per cent)

- Newspapers and magazines (18 per cent).

Commenting on the rise of contactless payments, Mark Burgess, chief operating officer at 118 118 Money says that it is perhaps unsurprising that the younger generation are the biggest contactless spenders. He points to young people’s lifestyles being so fast paced, and with there being such a variety of temptations like the odd coffee or lunch out, that 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.'