Despite the inevitability of the Digital revolution in financial services changing the face of retail, Cash is still the most popular form of payment in UK shops; but vouchers and coupons are enjoying growing popularity.
The British Retail Consortium recently took into account 10 billion retail payments in 2012 –60% of all UK retail sales, and has released its findings.
Cash made up for about 54% of all transactions, but non-cash, non-card payments (vouchers and coupons) rose from less than 2% to 5% of the total.
Debit cards remain popular.
Use of cash (taking into account number of transactions and money spent in shops) was down on 2011. This was the first time that both measures recorded a fall.
Alternative means of payment, like online payments and money-off coupons, grew, although these remained a fraction of the total. This will be welcome news for firms like Groupon, who are seeing their user base increase in line with these findings.
The Director general of the British Retail Consortium was quoted as saying- “These [alternative] methods will be the ‘ones to watch’ in the future, and retailers are investing heavily to make sure their customers have choice and convenience in ways to pay, whether in-store, at home or on the move,”
Debit cards accounted for 30% of transactions, and credit cards or charge cards were used in almost 11% of cases.
One major highlighted concern was that credit card transactions cost retailers much more to process than cash. It is unlikely, therefore, that cash will be totally done away with in the near future. Latest technology offerings, such as Digital Wallet and NFC, will certainly thrive in years to come.