Barclays bPay fob
Contactless payment systems, such as Barclays's bPay fob device, are on the rise in the UK Barclays

Nearly half of current account holders in Britain would consider switching to a different bank if it offered faster and more convenient payment methods, according to a survey.

The poll of over 2,000 UK consumers by payment systems firm ACI Worldwide and YouGov also showed that fees for cash withdrawals from ATMs were the biggest annoyance.

Some 45% of consumers said the offer of faster electronic payments would encourage them to switch their bank account provider, with 41% saying they would expect payments to reach recipients in five minutes or less.

"Our research shows that today's consumers want fast and easy payment methods," said Barry Kislingbury, lead solutions consultant at Consumer Banking Europe, ACI Worldwide.

"Banks have a real opportunity to stand out by offering faster payments and other innovations that today's consumers covet."

A third of consumers listed payment delays as their biggest irritation while 55% pointed to ATM usage fees as the biggest annoyance.

The UK is one of the leading adopters of real-time payments - electronic transfers completed in around 15 seconds - with 10 banks signing up for the Faster Payments scheme.

The survey also revealed young people were the fastest adopters of newer banking services, with 44% of 25-34 year olds saying they used contactless payments at least once a month.

Data released by Visa Europe earlier this month showed some £234m (€336m, $364m) were spent by Britons across 52.6 million contactless transactions in March.

The UK led the way in Europe in the number of contactless cards in circulation at 49.6 million – well over double the number of second-placed France, which had 20.3 million.