Major retail survey reveals rise of card payments

A new report from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has underlined the ever-increasing rise of online card payments.

Figures show that British consumers did nearly ten per cent less shopping with cash, in terms of monetary value, in 2012 than in the year earlier.

So while cash is still the most popular method of payment for customers in the UK, alternative methods like website payments are on the rise.

What’s more, the report found that consumers preferred debit to credit cards as they tried to manage their personal finances.

Some 54.4 per cent of transactions are completed using cash payments, but its use has declined as a percentage of both the number of transactions (down 6.7 per cent) and the total money spent (down 9.7 per cent).

Reflecting on the current landscape, Helen Dickinson, Director General of the BRC, said, “Cash is still the most popular way to pay, but our survey shows how rapidly alternative and emerging methods are gaining ground, with growth more than doubling on the previous year, albeit from a low base.”

She added, “These 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.”

This comes shortly after a report from Judo said that more than 120 million transactions are lost each year in the UK through people leaving shops because they don’t accept card payments.

Allied to this, the report said that an additional 92.8 million opportunities to sell are lost through people avoiding shops because they don’t accept card payments.

Indeed, some 21 per cent of consumers said that they had left a store in the past six months without making a purchase simply because the store didn’t accept card payments.