How has the Adoption of Contactless Payment Affected UK Students’ Spending Habits?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This research seeks to explore the current payment landscape in the UK, in a time of increasing usage of contactless payment. The aim is to gain an understanding of how using innovative payment instruments such as contactless cards or mobile payment affects consumer behaviour in students. Furthermore it investigates the rationale for such behaviour, and compares it with that of traditional payment methods such as cash. This study uses a qualitative approach and focuses on UK students in Further Education. The results of semi-structured interviews were analysed by applying thematic content analysis to identify trends and recurring themes. These were compared with existing research, outlined in the Literature Review, and correlations or dissimilarities observed. The use of contactless payment was found to have a significant effect on spending habits of students. Common themes were apparent from the data analysis, such as a reduced sense of guilt; and a sub-conscious accumulation of small, impulsive purchases when using contactless payment. This was predominantly attributed to the notion that making a contactless transaction does not always feel like ‘real money’, in the way that a cash payment does.
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