While our own bookkeepers in Somerset and Devon here at Britebooks are more than familiar with the advantages of embracing technological solutions in all aspects of business, it still intrigued us to read recently of the sheer extent to which firms now favour payment methods other than cash.
In this particular case, it was the card payments experts at Merchant Advice Service who polled over 1,200 UK business owners about payment processing.
They discovered that more than half (52%) of these businesses wanted to get rid of cash as a payment option altogether, while a further 86% preferred contactless and card payments to any other method.
Evolving attitudes towards payment processing
As cash continues to fall in popularity as a payment option in many industries such as retail, food and drink, and transport – an average of between 75% and 93% of all transactions now being card or contactless ones – two-thirds of business owners in the UK are now calling for the contactless price cap to be increased again.
In addition, the research findings revealed that it wasn’t just UK business owners, but also their customers whose acceptance of cash payments seemed to be waning. The businesses quizzed said they had noticed a 95% shift in attitudes towards paying for transactions, with one in three (34%) respondents saying consumers were apologetic when paying in cash.
“Less and less people carrying cash on them than ever before”
Merchant Advice Service co-founder Libby James commented: “Contactless payments have been incredibly popular from the moment they became an option, but with everything that’s happened over the course of the past year, we’ve definitely seen a shift in less and less people carrying cash on them than ever before.
“Whether that’s because they’re not going to the bank or to their local ATMs to withdraw it, they’re weary of the amount of people who can touch one single note or simply because they’re unsure of whether businesses will or won’t take cash in the current climate.”
She added that the poll findings “definitely show the need for a further contactless payment cap increase, even though we’ve just had one, or for it to be removed altogether.
“That being said, the payment cap does offer some level of safety and security to the bank account owner and processes would need to be in place beforehand to ensure everyone’s money is as safe as possible, especially if their card were to be lost and fall into the wrong hands.”
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