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Technophobia costs customers for UK retailers

 

Shop owners failing to match demand for contactless payments, card transactions and mobile apps

UK retailers are failing to keep up with consumer demand for new payment methods, a study by Sage Pay has found.

Almost two thirds of consumers say card is their preferred method of payment but one in three SMB retailers don’t accept credit or debit cards, with 33% per cent of shop owners asked whether they accept plastic at least once a day. As a result, one third of customers put an item back on the shelf and go elsewhere if the shop doesn’t support card payments while 17 per cent will reduce the number of items they purchase.

But it’s not just card payments that customers want to see more of. 26 per cent of consumers say stores that offer a greater range of payment methods make them more likely to shop there while 16 per cent admit that new and innovative types of payment options – like contactless, mobile apps and websites accessed in store – would make them more likely to visit a particular outlet.

But the growing consumer demand for different payment options is yet to be matched by actual adoption of the new technology. Just 6 per cent of SMB retailers currently support contactless payments while less than 1 per cent of stores provide mobile apps.

They do though expect this to change. Over one third (36 per cent) expect contactless payments and transactions via mobile apps to rise in the next five years. In addition, almost half of UK retailers expect card payments to increase, despite 45 per cent of business owners saying card already accounts for more than 50 per cent of current transactions.

Simon Black, CEO at Sage Pay commented: “It’s clear that retail outlets are failing to evolve fast enough. Consumers want choice, flexibility and convenience when it comes to paying for goods – and if they can’t have it, they’ll go elsewhere. As this research shows, the future of payments is cashless. Small and independent shops must embrace change now – or risk losing out on vital profits. 

“But it’s not just about getting more customers through the door. For smaller retailers, low overheads, pay-as-you-go transaction fees and instant fund transfers mean cashless solutions are a real win – especially for those businesses looking to grow. Alternative payment methods are also a way of aligning all of the brand’s channels and streamlining payments across the physical store, the website, Facebook pages and mobile apps.”

 

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