Whereas card payments were once seen as an unusual, cutting-edge concept in the UK retail industry, it is becoming increasingly clear that it is difficult for businesses of all shapes and sizes to compete without embracing the idea.
Recent studies show that Brits are spending more on plastic than ever before and most experts are of the belief that this trend will continue in the coming years, not least because online payments are now considered to be a pillar of the retail industry.
And the perception that businesses will struggle to survive unless they accept card payments has been furthered by one enterprising seller of the Big Issue.
Speaking to the Independent, Simon Mott outlined his frustration at prospective customers being unable to buy the magazine because they did not have cash on them or only had large notes with which to buy the magazine.
He sells between 80 and 100 copies of the magazine every week, but says that his business has taken an upturn since he started accepting card payments. This is because, he says, between five and ten of these are paid for using a card.
“It has boosted sales,” he explained. “Some people like the idea of paying by card and it can save me carrying the cash. It’s in my bank account within three days, so it’s very beneficial.”
Mr Mott added that there are some further benefits to accepting card payments that extend beyond mere monetary matters.
“It is safe because there have been situations in the past where Big Issue sellers have been mugged for their takings, which is sad,” he remarked. “It’s more secure and it’s in your bank account within three days, so it’s much safer.”
Big Issue sellers keep around half their takings from a sale, meaning that it is both sensible from an economic standpoint and from a safety view.