Business Technology

Majority of the UK's shoppers willing to pay via wearable devices

3 min read

01 July 2015

Former deputy editor

With mobile payments taking off across the country, ecommerce firm Avangate has revealed that 64 per cent of British shoppers would be willing to make purchases via wearable devices.

According to Avangate, businesses are still missing out on the opportunity of consumers becoming increasingly tech-savvy and are “losing out on billions of dollars”.

Indeed, 75 per cent of shoppers are buying goods from mobiles each month. As such, the ecommerce service provider described mobile as “a crucial part of retailers’ fundamentals”.

Elsewhere, the data found that 26 per cent of consumers are spending around a third of disposable income on recurring online purchases.

However, 38 per cent of respondents said the sales experience would determine whether they would make repeat transactions. Data entry-based mobile sales were described as the biggest nuisance, which is seemingly where wearables come in.

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The research comes alongside the bPay product launch from Barclaycard. Arriving in the form of three contactless payment devices – a sticker, a fob and a wristband – that are on sale from 1 July, Barclays has issued the bPay products ahead of the UK launch of Apple Pay.

Pitched as a way of “travelling to work and grabbing a coffee, to buying your lunch or picking up groceries from the supermarket,” the devices cost between £10 and £25 each, and from there they’re free to use regardless of whether you’re a Barclays customer.

At 64 per cent, the majority of UK consumers would be willing to use wearable devices to make purchases if they owned them. High-end wearables such as the Apple Watch cost £300 upwards, which could result in bPay targeting consumers interested in speed and accessible shopping experiences rather than function-rich gadgets.

Of course, Apple Pay – which can be found on the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 – and similar channels could still help the pain of mobile payments, given the integration in a number of retail apps.

“The rise of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are likely to make using mobile to pay for things even easier and could well propel mobile payments into being the payment mechanism of choice for most consumers,” said Avangate. “The convenience and ease they potentially offer could cure most of the ills associated with payments online, on mobile and in store.”