Digital payments and the retailer

RICHARD LOH | July 31, 2018

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Some retail outlets are experimenting with moving to digital payment-only operations. As non-cash payments become the norm, some retailers, particularly in hospitality, no longer accept cash. While there are downsides to managing cash, what are the pitfalls of refusing to deal with it? Cards have long dominated retail spending by value but according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), they now also account for over half of all retail transactions too. Figures published by the BRC state that debit cards account for 42.6 percent of all transactions, whereas cash is 42.3 percent. According to UK Finance, 77 percent of all U.K. retail spending was made by cards. This trend has been driven by the widespread adoption of contactless and other forms of digital payments, which have finally won over the British public. Both the London Business School and the Bank of England have suggested that contactless cards are fueling spending. It is less psychologically painful to pay for an item with a contactless card than it is to part with cash.

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