“Cash only? No thanks!” say half of all UK shoppers

Start-ups and small businesses in the food and drink sector have been identified as being the biggest offenders of not accepting card as payment

UK shoppers are growing increasingly frustrated with businesses who only accept cash, and are taking their custom to card-friendly competitors, according to a new report by First Data.

The survey of 1,000 UK consumers, has revealed that 43% would cancel their purchase at the checkout should the shop only accept physical cash, before opting to buy the product at another business.

59% of shoppers now only visit shops they know for a fact accept alternative methods of payment, with 98% of card-wielding customers preferring the contactless payment method because of how quick it is.

Start-ups and small businesses in the food and drink sector have been identified as being the biggest offenders of not accepting card as payment, with special emphasis placed on street-food stalls, food trucks and pop-up vendors.

Of all consumers, millennials appear most keen to dump cash altogether and pay straight with the card – with 50% ready to abandon coins and notes in a completely cashless society.

A sure sign the times are a changing, contactless cards now make up 30% of all card transactions.

When quizzed about their frustrations with cash, respondents said trips to the ATM, the ease of which thieves can operate when stealing cash, and an inability to track spending are biggest turn-offs with regards carrying and spending cash.

An important consideration for entrepreneurs providing services via video link, Skype now allows users to receive and make payment through the platform.

Raj Sond, general manager at First Data, comments on the importance for businesses to keep up with these trends:

“Time pushed, busy consumers are looking for a fast, hassle-free shopping experience. Convenience is paramount, and a smooth payment mechanism is vital in being able to offer a tailored, seamless service.

“With multiple shopping options on the high street and online it’s all too easy for potential customers to take their business elsewhere. Successful companies would be wise not to make assumptions about what their customers want.

“Historically, smaller retailers have been put off by the perceived cost of card acceptance, however when considering the banking time, cost and handling risk when it comes to dealing with cash, the cost of card acceptance is not the prohibiting factor it once was.

“Payment is a crucial part of the customer journey and experience and cannot be ignored in the quest for growth and loyalty.”

To read our guide on credit card processing, click here.