In cash we trust: UK consumers see hard currency as most secure payment method

A recent U.K. survey conducted by electronic payments software provider Compass Plus has found that consumer trust in newer payment methods has declined significantly in the last year, while cash has continued in first place as the most trusted mode of payment.

The survey of 650 U.K. residents found that 71 percent of respondents believed mobile payments to be the least secure payment method, a Compass Plus news release said. This is nearly twice as many compared with 38 percent in the 2013 Compass Plus survey.

Contactless payments with contactless cards (47 percent) remained solidly in in second place (42 percent in 2013) on the list of the perceived least secure ways to pay.

For the third consecutive year, cash was seen as the most secure (73 percent), and over the last year, trust in debit and credit card payments on both the high street and over the Internet increased by more than 20 percent, in some cases doubling their figures from 2013.

These results clearly indicate that consumers are much more trusting of payment methods they are familiar with and that this level of trust directly feeds into how they choose to pay on a day-to-day basis, the news release said.

Nearly all respondents claimed to have withdrawn cash from an ATM in the past month (96 percent). This was closely followed use of a bankcard on the high street and the Internet (84 percent and 73 percent, respectively).

Interestingly, however, the number of payment methods consumers had used in the previous month increased from the 2013 survey. This illustrates that while the majority of consumers believe certain payment methods are not as secure as others, they will still choose to use them if they offer convenience, though not nearly to the same frequency as the more trusted options, Compass Plus said.

“Our survey results show that regardless of industry speculation, cash is still the most trusted and used payment method,” said Maria Nottingham, CEO at Compass Plus Great Britain. “What is really clear from these results is the growth of the multichannel consumer. People want the choice to carry out different transactions using different channels and payment methods, making the proliferation of any one channel in the future appear unlikely. It will, however, be interesting to see the correlation between trust and convenience for the mobile channel as consumers become more educated about the security measures in place and it crosses over into the mainstream.”

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