We learnt in July from the British Retail Consortium that, for the first time, more than half of all purchases in the UK were made by card, not cash. This is hardly surprising: the rise of contactless is obvious to anyone who has the left the house in the past few years. And Square has been digging deeper.
Trends are also leading to an increasing number of people who don’t use cash much at all, and only for small transactions when they do. One in six British shoppers (17%) is now a “card-only” consumer who never uses cash to pay for their shopping in an average day, according to Square.
And two in five people (38%) describe themselves as “card-first” shoppers, who would typically try to pay with a card first before they have to pay with cash.
According to Square’s research: nearly one in three of us (30%) haven’t taken out cash from an ATM or bank in the last week. The average Brit has just £32.54 in cash in their purse or wallet right now. When you consider the price of the average daly transactions you might make, that’s not a great deal.
Commenting on the research findings, Sarah Harvey, UK Lead for Square, said: “British business is fiercely competitive, and nowhere is that truer than on the High Street. Small businesses are competing with larger competitors who have greater resources, so they need to make use of every advantage they can get. That means making it as easy as possible for their customers to buy from them, including accepting card payments alongside more traditional methods like cash. Technologies like Square mean that there are fewer barriers between businesses and their customers, so they can ensure they always make a sale.”
How many businesses in the UK don’t take cards these days? Not many in my experience. But really, they should.