Nearly nine in 10 students prefer to pay for goods using debit and credits, either through contactless or Chip and Pin, according to new research.

The survey by Vista Retail Support underlined the importance of retailers preparing for the return of students from their summer holidays.

It revealed that contactless payment cards (39%) have now surpassed Chip and PIN cards (35%) as the preferred payment method among students, followed by smartphone/wearable payment systems and cash (both 13%).

Students’ main reason for choosing contactless is that it is quicker (90%) than any other form of payment.

Some 13% of respondents said they would avoid a shop altogether if contactless payments weren’t accepted, while 52% said they would avoid a shop if it did not enable payment by cards in general.

“New forms of payment, particularly contactless cards, are proving to be incredibly popular with young shoppers,” said James Pepper, technical services director at Vista. “With schools and universities starting the new term, retailers who aren’t able to cater to this valuable demographic risk losing out on top marks from students.

“Our survey shows a significant shift in how students are choosing to pay for their goods and how they’re willing to avoid retailers who don’t allow room for choice. For canny retailers who have put the right solutions in place, however, the potential gains could be huge as local students become loyal customers.”