UK Finance: One in six UK adults use mobile payments services

UK consumers are taking a ‘pick n mix’ approach to how they make payments, with mobile banking, mobile payments and contactless all becoming increasingly popular, according to the latest study by UK Finance.

Just as digital technology has allowed people to customise the way they listen to music or read the news, it is now transforming the world of payments, as consumers take advantage of the ever-widening range of payment choices available to suit their needs and lifestyle.

  • Almost half (48%) of UK adults used mobile banking in 2018, up from 41% in the previous year.
  • By the end of 2018, an estimated 8.5 million (one in six of the UK adult population) people were registered to use mobile payment services such as Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung.
  • Debit cards remained the most frequently used payment method in 2018, accounting for nearly 40% of all payments.
  • 98% of adults now own a debit card and by 2024 debit cards are forecast to account for half of all payments in the country, while contactless debit card payments rose to 7.4 billion (payments) in 2018.
  • Cash remains the second most frequently used payment method in the UK. It was used for 28 per cent of payments in 2018.

More and more customers are now opting for the speed and convenience of paying with their contactless cards, or using mobile banking to check their balances and make transfers while on the move. This rapid rate of technological change is set to continue over the coming decade, as people embrace the ever-widening number of ways to pay and manage their finances, depending on their needs and lifestyle.

Stephen Jones, Chief Executive of UK Finance