Procurement · 6 June 2016

Growing popularity of cashless payment puts 60,000 retailers at risk

mobile payment
A quarter of UK consumers said that they’ve started avoiding retailers that don’t accept non-cash payment

New research has revealed that 60,000 small independent British retailers are risking the future of the business by making it hard for shoppers to pay on card.

Payment processor Worldpay found that as many as one-in-ten small independent retailers still refuse to accept card payments, while a further ten per cent impose a lower limit on non-cash payment.

The research also revealed the increasing popularity of non-cash payments amongst British consumers. Consumer spending on card exceeded cash for the first time in 2015, as a quarter of shoppers claimed that they’ve started avoiding shops that don’t accept card payment. Around 30 per cent of shoppers claim they only use cash when absolutely necessary.

Commenting on the findings, Worldpay UK managing director Dave Hobday said that for the average British consumer, cash was becoming a relic. “For consumers, being able to pay by which ever method they choose is a minimum requirement of what it means to be a modern retailer.

“It’s easy to see why that’s the case, as innovations like contactless and mobile payments continue to raise the bar in terms of speed, simplicity and convenience.”

Worldpay discovered that cashless payment is proving most popular with young people. Roughly 60 per cent of 24 to 34 year-olds would prefer not to have to carry cash with them when shopping.

The research found that small independent retailers were losing out online as well as in-store, with only 20 per cent providing consumers with the means to pay for goods via the internet.

Hobday went on to say: “Consumers take for granted the ability to flit between in-store and online channels – and they expect retailers to provide the same flexibility, regardless of their size.”

The rising popularity of mobile payments can be seen as one key reason for the rise of non-cash payments more widely.

As part of a series of case studies and informative infographics in partnership with mobile payment platform Paym, Business Advice recently found out that the rate at which consumers are paying via their mobile is doubling every six months, with 1.46m mobile payments sent in the final half of 2015 alone.


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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.