Digital payments to overtake cash in 2018

Digital payments to overtake cash in 2018

UK consumers have embraced a cashless society, with digital payments expected to overtake cash this year.

Cards and mobile wallets are increasing in popularity, with UK Finance predicting that they will continue to rise in popularity. It is expected that these digital payments will eclipse notes and coins as Britain’s preferred payment method later this year.

Businesses who don’t accept these modern forms of payment are increasingly at risk of falling behind. Without the ability to take digital payments, they are more likely to lose sales and profit.

Our director, Mark Latham, discusses the effect of a cashless society on UK independent business owners.

“Britain has warmly welcomed contactless, putting aside the security fears that were first mooted. The reality is the liability is the same as its always been. The card system is very robust and its provided by companies people are used to, who they recognise and trust.

It’s the customer’s expectation that they should be able to make cashless transactions that has driven business take-up. When it was first introduced in the UK in 2007, there was a lot of ambivalence, but adoption over the past few years has been rapid because of demand. Now, as a customer, if I go into a shop and their equipment isn’t contactless-enabled, I think they’re missing out.

It offers so many benefits to businesses. Take for instance a pub that we work with. Now the landlord has gone contactless, he’s made his life easier and his turnover greater. Crucially his customers are no longer limited to the cash in their pocket, which has allowed a leap in turnover and profits. He’s made the customer experience better because he offers customers what they want. Plus, he no longer has to spend as much time counting up cash, nor are there large volumes of cash on the premises which could make him a target for thieves.

There are a minority of businesses who have failed to adapt to this changing payment landscape. Generally, this is for one of three reasons - because they’re not thinking about their customers’ convenience; because they might like cash as it represents ‘hidden’ money; or they sell items that are above the contactless limit, and so don’t have the need. Now that Apple Pay has removed its limit though, businesses should have the latest tech.

Businesses that fail to adapt are limiting their market - and who can afford to be picky these days? If you turn a paying customer away because they don’t have cash, you make them feel uncomfortable and irritated – and more likely to turn to the competition. Offering the best customer experience is key for survival.

For this reason, retail and hospitality have been the quickest sectors to adapt. It’s where consumers want the convenience; and it’s often where the competition is most fierce. On every high street there’s a service like yours, ready to snap up your irritated, card paying customer.

There’s no excuse for not having the technology. All providers will upgrade their systems; this is because the more transactions you do, the more money you both make. If your card provider doesn’t have the technology, you should change provider.”

Contactless card readers can improve your business in many ways; increasing revenue, reducing cash handling and improving your customer experience. All Handepay card machines can accept contactless payments, including contactless cards and mobile wallets such as Apple Pay.

If you already accept card payments, take the Handepay Price Challenge. We’re so confident that we can save your business money, we’ll put our money where our mouth is. If we can’t save you money, we’ll give you £1,000!

To find out how accepting digital payments can help your business to grow, get in touch with one of our friendly advisors today.