Customers are fed up with long queues in stores and retailers are losing business because of it, according to a recent survey.

The Australian Queuing Behavior Survey by MasterCard Worldwide has revealed that over two-thirds (67 per cent) of consumers abandon their purchase all together if it means standing in line, while 75 per cent of Australians will take their money elsewhere.

Despite recent attempts to attract retail spend to stimulate the economy, retailers risk losing business unless something is done to minimise queuing, especially in peak times, as two in three Australians are frustrated within five minutes of joining a queue.

Eddie Grobler, executive vice president, Australasia, MasterCard Worldwide says the survey also provides insight into the retail categories that are set to lose customers unless measures are taken to speed up payment at the point of sale.

“Australian consumers are less likely to tolerate queues at fast food restaurants (36 per cent), at stadium events (35 per cent), petrol stations (28 per cent), convenience stores and supermarkets (25 per cent). The survey also indicates over half (52 per cent) of customers get angry and frustrated because the cashiers never seem to be in a hurry – suggesting more needs to be done to streamline retail purchases,” he says.

The survey revealed that 65 per cent of Australians would be interested in using a contactless payment device to speed up the process, thus alleviating their frustration and propensity to abandon their sale or make their purchase elsewhere. In addition, recent independent data1 indicates 41 per cent of consumers use cash less often today than they did two years ago.

“There is consumer demand for a faster way to pay… Australian consumers are increasingly time-poor, so providing a convenient alternative at the point of sale will allow retailers to serve more customers in less time – resulting in shorter queues and a better way to do business,” says Grobler.

Grobler also says that retailers across the globe that currently accept PayPass are growing their customer base and loyalty by offering consumers this fuss-free payment option, and stand to benefit from reduced cash handling, improved payment terminal reliability, improved customer satisfaction and reduced operating costs.

The nationwide survey of 1052 people aged 18 and above was carried out in November 2008 by Galaxy Research.