Report identifies significant growth opportunities for unattended terminals

The evolution of unattended terminals has continued at pace in recent years and the
number of these accepting credit and debit card payments has expanded significantly.

Convenience, ease of use and fast transactions are three of the key motivators among
consumers for making card payments, but have these been adopted by shoppers making
purchases from unattended terminals, such as kiosks, vending machines, parking meters
and others?

70% of consumers want unattended terminals to accept both card and cash payments and a significant number are willing to use wearable devices or digital wallets at these locations, according to a survey of US, UK and Australian adults commissioned by Transaction Network Services (TNS).

Adult use of credit debit cards to purchase different product categories at unattended terminals

TNS has publishing the results of its survey in a new report called Who is Driving Adoption of Card Payments at Unattended Terminals? This survey shines a spotlight on the number of people who use their credit or debit card at a variety of different types of unattended terminals, the countries with the greatest adoption levels and the willingness of consumers to accept a charge to use their card. It also looks at consumers’ security concerns and their interest in adopting new payment methods.

Adult use of credit debit cards at kiosks or vending machines to buy food or

Key findings include:

  • Men are the bigger adopters of card payments at unattended terminals
  • More than 55% of Australian adults use their credit or debit cards at unattended parking meters, kiosks and exit barriers
  • UK use of credit/debit cards at kiosks or vending machines to buy food or drink has grown by a third in the last two years
  • 27% of all respondents have already used their credit/debit cards at unattended terminals to purchase clothing
  • US consumers exhibit the largest security concerns
  • There is a significant preference for card use among the younger age groups even if there is a charge

“Our report shows significant promise for the unattended terminals market globally with consumer attitudes and behaviors creating an environment optimal for growth. In addition to expanding the locations and types of goods sold, there is a substantial opportunity to expand unattended terminals to accept new payment methods,” explains Lisa Shipley, General Manager of TNS’ FinTech Solutions business in the Americas.

“We found 36% of consumers willing to make a payment at an unattended kiosk or vending machine using a wearable device, such as a bracelet or fitness tracker, including almost half of those aged 18 to 34. In addition, 57% of this age group are also willing to make a payment at an unattended terminal using a digital wallet.”

The survey confirms that card payments at unattended terminals are being positively received and adopted by consumers. The convenience of using a credit or debit card instead of carrying cash appears to support the current needs and expectations of consumers, while the efficiency and speed that unattended terminals can offer over traditional retail environments is likely to be another contributory factor in their success.

The future would appear very positive with there being a sufficient willingness among a significant number of adults to using wearable devices and digital wallets within smartphones at unattended terminals.

At the same time, however, the industry needs to continue to reassure cardholders that their data is secure as security fears were reported among almost two thirds of our respondents. If unchecked, this could become a barrier to adoption so is worthy of sufficient time and attention.

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