The Co-operative Food has reported positive results from a trial of contactless payment in its London and Manchester stores.

The convenience grocer said that the trial, introduced in May, had been welcomed by customers.

New research from Barclaycard reports that 80% of the public – almost double last years’ figures – can identify the contactless symbol, with people in London and the North West the quickest to adopt the new way to pay.

The research highlights a shift in consumer spending preference with 61% of people saying they preferred using cards over cash to buy items up to £20.

The Co-operative Food chief information officer and supply chain director Mark Hale said: “Customer reaction has been very positive since we introduced contactless payments into our stores within the M25 and Manchester city centre in May 2012.  We identified from implementation in other retailers that customers often worry they’ll do something wrong and so hold back from using their cards.”

He added: “We also made sure that our solution was part of the Chip & PIN device so that the customer didn’t have to look for a different terminal to make a contactless payment. Once shoppers have used contactless technology they really seem to appreciate the quicker and are choosing to use it on a regular basis. My advice to customers is to try it when you next make a purchase in one of the stores that offers contactless payment.”

Barclaycard retailer relationship director Richard Armstrong said: “The number of people using contactless has rocketed over the last year and, across Barclays, we’re now seeing our customers make more than a million such payments per month. We’re now working with a much wider range of retailers across transport, supermarkets, entertainment and indeed anywhere you currently use cash. A host of retailers have announced the move to contactless, including Starbucks and Waitrose.”