Latest research has revealed that UK shoppers would continue to visit an SME, small retailer, independent coffee shop or food outlet for an average of 4.6 months before becoming impatient with their cash-only status.
The data, compiled by Paymentsense, also found that consumer patience levels varied regionally.
For example, shoppers in Norwich are willing to wait a little longer (an average of 6.5 months) after their first visit to a business before expecting card payments to be introduced, closely followed by Cardiff.
Birmingham was found to be the most impatient city, with consumers expecting to have a cashless option within just 3.5 months. Those in Manchester are also only prepared to wait 3.6 months.
Interestingly, it is the older shoppers that are the most impatient. Of all the groups questioned, millennials (25-34 years) were the most forgiving, willing to wait 5.1 months on average. Those over 65 were the least, only considering waiting 3.9 months.
SMEs should take note that the research also revealed that not accepting card payments is an instant turn off for some UK consumers. Over half (53%) of respondents would leave a small business immediately if card payments are not available, with 30% reporting they would be less likely to return in future.
Guy Moreve, CMO of 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. Our latest Future of Payments report also reveals that consumers are already looking ahead towards improved payment systems in the UK, from fingerprint scanning and microchips to voice ID and biometrics.
“This has serious implications for small business owners and startups during the critical first few months of trading. Our research suggests there’s a definite time limit for new businesses to upgrade from cash-only transactions, after which customers may turn to competitors offering more convenient alternatives. Giving consumers the shopping experience they expect is becoming increasingly important to influencing reputation and even trading longevity.”
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