Retailers without cards and contactless payment missing out

Retailers could be missing out on crucial Christmas trading if they’re not able to offer card payments, new research from EE reveals. Four in five (80 per cent) shoppers in the UK expect to be able to pay for goods using their credit or debit cards, but a quarter (25 per cent) have been forced to abandon transactions due to a lack of card facilities, equivalent to almost 13 million shoppers.

An additional challenge for many small retailers in particular is the increasing popularity of contactless payments. EE’s research reveals that more than a quarter (28 per cent) of shoppers prefer to use contactless because it is easier, and 29 per cent prefer paying via contactless because it’s speedy.

According to data from the UK Cards Association, in December last year spending on cards totalled more than £49bn through more than a billion purchases, a 6.4 per cent annual growth rate over the same month the previous year. EE’s research indicates that retailers who can’t process card payments are letting one of the heaviest spending periods of the year pass them by.

The research also reveals that Brighton is the top location where customers say they use their card for the majority of their transactions, at 72 per cent. Surprisingly, London sits in the lower half of the list, with just 61 per cent saying they use their card for most transactions.

EE decided to assist, offering two features to help make card payments easier to process and manage. The features are 4G Pop-Up bundle and Connected Retail.

The first one helps with setting up a flexible 4G point of sale and card payment capabilities, while Connected Retail offers a full-featured retail POS system.

EE promises savings up to 80 per cent compared to traditional POS systems.

Both the Pop-Up bundle and Connected Retail feature the iZettle Pro Contactless card reader. Connected Retail provides businesses with a 4G tablet and the Shopwave intelligent POS app, allowing retailers to monitor sales performance, manage products and stock, and dynamically create promotions and discounts.

The full regional breakdown is as follows:

Region Proportion who use card for most transactions
Brighton 72%
York 71%
Birmingham 66%
Norwich 65%
Bristol 63%
Nottingham 62%
London 61%
Manchester 58%
Cardiff 56%
Edinburgh 53%
Newcastle 51%