SMEs and start-ups have less than five months to shift from taking cash only to accepting cards before a shopper’s expectations change. The higher demand in card payments by consumers is becoming a large factor in how a small business prospers for the future.
Research by Paymentsense has revealed, that UK shoppers would continue to visit an SME retailer, independent coffee shop or food outlet for an average of 4.6 months before becoming irritated with their cash-only status.
The research also found that paying by cash is becoming to be much more of an ‘inconvenience’ for consumers.
Not accepting card payments is an instant turn off for some UK consumers. Over half of respondents would leave a small business immediately if card payments are not available, with 30 per cent reporting they would be less likely to return in future.
A survey that was conducted found that consumer patience levels differ geographically. Small businesses in Norwich benefit from the most forgiving population; with shoppers willing to wait for an average of 6.5 months after their first visit to a business before expecting card payments to be introduced.
The most irritated city is Birmingham, where consumers expect to have a cashless option within just 3.5 months; while people from Manchester were only prepared to wait a few days longer 3.6 months.
Out of all the age groups questioned, millennials aged 25-34 were the most lenient, willing to wait 5.1 months on average. Those over 65 were the least, only considering waiting 3.9 months.
Guy Moreve, Chief Marketing Officer at Paymentsense, said: “Cash usage in the UK is shrinking at a rapid rate and consumers are now living totally cashless lives. Although it’s important to recognise there’s still a place for cash, it’s difficult to ignore the signals that we’re moving towards the complete digitalisation of money.
“Our research provides a snapshot of consumer attitudes towards cash-only businesses, but the general trend suggests these expectations are evolving as we get closer to becoming a cashless society.”