Consumers switch from cash to card for cheaper purchases

More and more consumers want to pay by card, even for low value transactions. Does your business accommodate this demand?

20th August 2014

Credit cards in walletNew figures confirm what retailers already suspected: more consumers are using credit and debit cards for lower value transactions. The UK Cards Association reports that the average value of a debit or credit card transaction has reached £47.51, down £1.40 in a year. The average card transaction for services is now at £78, while the average retail card transaction is only £33.95. The UK Cards Association believes that these figures have been caused by the switch from cash to card for low value transactions, in addition to the rising prevalence of contactless cards and online spending.

Changing consumer preferences are always a challenge for businesses to deal with, but the gradual migration to a cashless retail environment looks to be particularly expensive for small retailers. Previously on the Integrity Trader blog we reported that the costs associated with card transactions were increasing fast. The charges levied by banks on credit card transactions had doubled in just five years. Even though credit cards only make up one in ten transactions, they account for 50% of transaction costs.

As the UK continues its moves towards a cashless society, businesses must be able to cater for the consumer preference for card transactions. A recent study revealed that three in five UK small businesses don’t accept payment by card. A survey from earlier this year suggested that businesses lost £7 billion of trade a year because they didn’t offer card payments and consumers had to walk away from transactions.

Despite the transaction costs, small businesses must embrace card payments to avoid losing trade. Point-of-sale software often comes with full credit card integration. If you’d like to try out some retail and point-of-sale software built specifically with builders’ merchants in mind, give us a call to arrange a demonstration.

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