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A quarter of UK consumers refuse to shop cash-only

Consumers in the UK are reducing their cash use, with a quarter of shoppers claiming to avoid stores that don't accept payment cards

A quarter of UK consumers will avoid shopping in stores that only accept payment by cash, according to research.

A study by payments firm Worldpay found 25% of consumers would choose not to go in shops that do not take card payments, and a third of shoppers will only use cash if completely necessary.

The younger generation are the drivers of the cashless trend, with 60% of people aged 24 to 34 stating they would prefer not to carry cash.

Dave Hobday, UK managing director at Worldpay said: “For today’s digitally driven shoppers, cash has become a relic. It’s easy to see why that’s the case, as innovations like contactless and mobile payments continue to raise the bar in terms of speed, simplicity and convenience.”

Worldpay’s research found this attitude to card payments may damage smaller retailers, and estimated that 60,000 small retailers across the UK make card payments difficult for consumers.

One in 10 small retailers claimed not to offer card payments for customers, and of those who do offer card payments, 10% imposed a minimum spending threshold on payments made by card.

Younger shoppers are highly influenced by what they view and share online, and many will choose to shop on their mobile devices even after or during a visit to a physical store.

Consumers have not only abandoned cash, but are increasingly turning to contactless and mobile payments rather than traditional chip-and-PIN methods.

This need for a “seamless shopping experience” is forcing both retailers and payments providers to be more flexible with the services they provide.

But Worldpay’s research found only 20% of small independent retailers offered the ability to provide click-and-collect style services where customers could order online and pay in store or vice-versa. To combat this lack of digital flexibility, Worldpay has launched an awareness campaign dubbed iStreet to help small retailers become more digitally savvy.

Hobday said: “Consumers take for granted the ability to flit between in-store and online channels - and they expect retailers to provide the same flexibility, regardless of their size. Small and independent retailers [need help to] embrace technology to enable them to offer the type of experience that modern consumers expect and which has, until now, largely been the preserve of larger high-street stores.”

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