For the first time in history debit cards have overtaken cash to become the number one payment method in the UK. In 2016 it was reported by the British Retail Consortium that debit cards accounted for 42.6% of all transactions, ahead of notes and coins, which declined five percentage points to 42.3%. They have also reported that card payments made up more than half of UK payments in 2016. For many years, cards have accounted for the majority of retail purchasing by value, 2016 was the first year they also accounted for more than 50% of all transactions.
The BRC state there are two main factors that have contributed to the rise in card use. Firstly, the number of people who have adopted contactless as a method of payment, and secondly the retailers who are investing in card payment technology.
The survey also showed that 68 per cent of manned terminals now have the capability to accept contactless cards, up from 47 per cent last year. Retailers are heavily investing in software to accept new payment applications, with many already accepting ApplePay, AndroidPay and, more recently, SamsungPay.
We recently discussed how contactless payments are behind the rise in debit card popularity. Contactless was first introduced in 2007 and following an uncertain acceptance at first, it seems that it has won over both consumers and retailers who are both reaping the benefits of tap and go payments.
If your business could benefit from accepting contactless payments from your customers, get in touch with one of our advisors today.