By Michael Moore
Britain's small business are being put at risk by failing to introduce digital, consumer friendly-payment methods, new research from WorldPay has claimed.
As many as 60,000 U.K. SMBs could face losing valuable custom by not supporting any form of card payments, including contactless, or digital or mobile services such as Apple Pay or Android Pay.
This is the equivalent of one in ten of the country's small and independent retailers, with a further 10 percent imposing a lower limit on non-cash payments.
A number of studies recently have found that consumer attitudes to payment methods are changing rapidly, as more and more shoppers choose to pay by card rather than carrying around large amounts of cash.
A recent report from industry body The Payments Association predicted that card payments will overtake cash transactions by 2021, with the latter being used for just over one in four (27 percent) of payments by 2025.
Worldpay found that nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of 24-34 year olds say they would prefer not to have to carry cash, as a quarter of U.K. consumers claim they've started avoiding shops that don't take cards, while a third (30 percent) say they only use cash if absolutely necessary.
Businesses are also failing to get the technology in place to expand online, with the research finding that just 20 percent of SMBs allow shoppers to order and pay for goods online as well as in-store.
"For today's digitally driven shoppers, cash has become a relic," noted Dave Hobday, WorldPay's U.K. managing director. "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. 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."
"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."