Vianet's study of 2,000 customers showed that every age group was now at least twice as likely to use contactless payment than this time last year.
It also discovered that one in three people believe their preferred payment method will change in the next six months - with all groups stating that card payment would become their new preference.
50% of card payments by 2026
Matt Lane, managing director of Vianet, said: “The rapid shift from cash to contactless among customers who have grown up with cash cannot be ignored. This group have an affinity with tangible notes and coins but are still switching to contactless, which speaks volumes.
“With the UK Card Association predicting that 50% of debit card transactions will be contactless by 2026, usage of touch-and-go among all ages is only going to rise. In recognition of this, operators and associations across all industries are targeting all ages and adapting their payment systems to cater for contactless. Even the Church of England has started trialling contactless readers for collections.
“The statistics and insight clearly show that contactless payment is an anomaly in the tech world, with widespread adoption across all age groups and industries. Now is the time for vending operators to embrace it, smooth the customer journey and attract more custom by providing a contactless payment option.”
Hoping for a higher ceiling
Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association commented: "There is undoubtedly a rapid move towards contactless payments in all walks of life. This is good for busy pubs, where payments at the bar are faster.
"We would like to see an increase to the ceiling for contactless payments from £30 to £50 and for contactless cards to be available for use in AWP Category C gaming machines. Tokens in these machines purchased at the bar are helpful, but cashless machines will be needed, in order to future-proof the industry."
The latest research from Vianet further demonstrates the exponential rise of contactless payments. UK Cards Association data from April this year showed more than 100m contactless cards were in use in the UK, 20% more than at the same time last year. The same research revealed that more than £4bn was spent on contactless in April alone, an increase of 150% on the previous year.