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Loyalty card usage plummets as shoppers become frustrated with paper vouchers

One in three UK shoppers fail to take value from customer loyalty schemes and are frustrated by the level of paper vouchers and receipts they receive, new research suggests.

30 per cent of consumers find it difficult to remember to take their loyalty card with them when they go shopping, with up to eight million shoppers using their loyalty cards less than they did a year ago, the report by payments firm WorldPay has said.

The survey also found that 75 per cent of shoppers think it would be a good idea to have loyalty schemes linked to their payment cards, while 21 per cent believe having a smartphone app equivalent would be beneficial.

In a further sign that paper vouchers could be on their way out, younger shoppers are particularly keen to see the end of them with 26 per cent of 16-24 year-olds preferring to get vouchers through text, and 21 per cent through a mobile app. More than half of consumers aged 25-64 would still prefer a paper voucher issued at the till however.

The survey found that despite usage declining, nine in 10 consumers do still use a loyalty card, with the most popular being the Tesco Clubcard followed by the Nectar card and Boots Advantage Card.

"Our research shows that shoppers are starting to lose patience with loyalty schemes as expectations of the ease and speed of payments increase," said Ron Kalifa, deputy chairman at WorldPay.

"As well as developing the technology to better incorporate loyalty card payments, there is a role for payment service providers to play in brokering the relationship between retailers, publishers and card issuers.

"Loyalty cards provide vital business intelligence for retailers, and valuable savings for shoppers, so it's critical that they're incorporated into the way consumers pay today."