One in two UK consumers would consider a payments chip implant

POWER TO CHOOSE: The UK consumers surveyed expressed mixed feelings about using AI smart wallets

Just over one in two (51%) UK consumers would consider making payments using a chip implanted in their hand provided it met certain criteria including medical safety and privacy protection, a new survey reveals.

Of these, 8% said they would be comfortable using a payments chip implant “if its privacy measures were water-tight”, 23% if it was “proven to be medically safe” and 20% “simply said they would be comfortable using this payment method”.

“The vast majority (83%) think a microchip implant would make them ‘feel like they are in a sci-fi movie’ and nearly half (48%) feel the chip would be useful if they were caught without cash or card,” the researchers say.

“However, invasiveness and security issues remain major concerns.”

The survey forms part of research published in The European Payments Landscape in 2030 report and also covers other existing or potential payment technologies, including cashierless shopping and AI-powered smart wallets or smart bank accounts.

It found that 30% of survey participants have used cashierless stores such as Amazon Go, 37% have not yet done so “but would like to” and 22% think the technology “is cutting edge”.

Trust in AI

On the subject of AI-powered solutions such as smart wallets that “can decide in an instant what the most sensible payment is for any given purchase” and smart bank accounts that “could automatically move surplus funds to savings, or put the brakes on overspending”, the survey reveals that, while 44% “would not feel comfortable with AI making automated purchasing decisions on their behalf”, a third (34%) would “trust AI to choose the most affordable method to pay for goods or services, 22% to select the most ethical way to pay, and 21% to choose which currency to pay in”.

Based on the results of the survey, the researchers predict that “consumers’ love of convenience could see purchasing power handed over to AI”, that “payments will become increasingly invisible as cards and even devices begin to disappear from the transaction” and that “cash will give way to digital, but is unlikely to disappear entirely”.

The survey of 2,037 consumers from across the UK was conducted on behalf of card and payments services provider Marqeta.

One in two UK consumers would consider a payments chip implant was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.