• A quarter of people say they will spend more money (24%)or make more impulse purchases (25%) if they use their phone rather than cash or card to pay
  • The ability to check their balance (57%) and a cap on ‘tap and go’ payments (38%) could help consumers curb their spending
  • More than half (56%) are worried about the new technology – with fears over security top of the list of concerns (45%)
  • The end isn’t quite nigh for cash and credit cards – six in ten consumers (57%) say they aren’t comfortable using their phone to pay.

Ahead of Apple Pay launching in the UK next month, new research from uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service, reveals that the new technology could see consumers’ spending habits spiralling out of control. While the technology is welcomed by those hoping for a simpler, easier and faster way of paying, a quarter of people fear that using their phone instead of cards and cash will see them spend more (24%)and make more impulse purchases (25%).

The simplicity of paying with your mobile phone is welcome, but it seems consumers are after extra features to help them keep a handle on their spending, such as the ability to check their balance (57%) and a cap on ‘tap and go’ payments (38%) being part of mobile payments. One in ten consumers would like limits on when and where they can use mobile phone payments – such as the time of day (10%) and in pubs and clubs (12%). Worryingly though, a quarter (25%) fear no other tools will help them stay in control of their finances.

Considering the size and brand power behind Apple, it’s not surprising that a quarter (26%) say they’d feel more comfortable about using mobile payments with the Californian giant behind the technology.

But, despite the power of the brand, it doesn’t seem that even Apple Pay will be the final nail in the coffin for old-fashioned cash – almost six in ten consumers (57%) aren’t comfortable with using their mobile phone to pay for goods or services. And despite the fact that – in theory – Apple Pay is a safer way of paying than cash and cards, fears over the technology’s security (45%) are still topping the list of concerns.

Nicholas Frankcom, money expert at uSwitch.com, says: “It’s great to see people being given more options on how to pay.  This is a clear case of how technology can make peoples’ lives easier. If they can use these tools to help keep track of their money, that’s an added bonus.

“However, using your mobile to pay could be a double edged sword. If paying with your phone is so simple that we don’t think about whether or not we can afford it, it could lead to debt problems. New technology should be welcomed, but it’s equally important that consumers use it to help them take control of their finances, not lose it.”

Related Articles