Loyalty cards and till receipts as the British know them could potentially be a thing of the past as millions of UK consumers demand increasingly smoother and better integrated shopping experiences, according to research from global payments provider WorldPay.
The company's survey examined public attitudes to paying for goods and services and found that a worrying 8 million shoppers use their loyalty cards less than they did one year ago, as increasing numbers lose patience with traditional loyalty schemes.
The research showed that as many as 33% of British consumers feel they are failing to derive any value from their loyalty cards, with 30% even finding it difficult to remember to take their loyalty card with them when they go shopping.
The survey also found that 75% of shoppers would like loyalty schemes to be linked to their payment card to ensure that they are automatically rewarded for purchases, while 21% want loyalty cards to be stored on a smartphone payment app.
In a further sign of consumers' desire for greater digital integration in their shopping experiences, the research also revealed traditional paper till receipts may soon be on their way out. Younger shoppers are especially keen to see their demise, with 26% of 16-24 year-olds wanting to receive vouchers through text and 21% through a mobile app instead. However, more than half of older consumers aged 25-64 would still prefer a paper voucher issued at the till instead.
The importance of claiming discounts and rewards easily and automatically is highlighted by the growth in popularity of cashback cards and discount services. For example, Groupon is now used by 1 in 10 shoppers (11%) and credit card cashback schemes by more than 15%.
The survey found that despite usage declining, 9 in 10 consumers still use a loyalty card, with the most popular being the Tesco Clubcard (68%) followed by the Nectar card at 59% and Boots Advantage Card at 48%.
"This research shows that shoppers are starting to lose patience with loyalty schemes as expectations of the ease and speed of payments increase," explained Ron Kalifa, deputy chairman for WorldPay. "With new legislation on interchange fees reducing the income card issuers have traditionally received, there's a clear commercial incentive for them to maximise the success of their promotions and engage retailers directly, rather than rely on cashback discounts. And loyalty cards provide vital business intelligence for retailers, as well as valuable savings for shoppers, so it's critical that they're incorporated into the way consumers pay."