Retailers have been urged to get on board with the latest payment technologies, or risk being left behind.
According to the Payments Council’s latest report, The Way We Pay, cash payments in stores fell from 75% of all payments in 2001, to 56% in 2011, while debit card payments now account for one in four transactions, increasing by 59% compared with a decade ago.
The report predicted that payments made via mobile phones would become more popular over the next decade, leading to the “wallet becoming obsolete”.
Payments Council chief executive Adrian Kamellard said that the way we use money was set to change drastically. “We scarcely notice the steady changes in the way we pay, yet someone in their thirties today will see more change in their lifetime than in the entire history of money,” he said. “The 2000s were the decade of the debit card and the 2010s are likely to be the decade of the mobile phone. Twenty years from now cards may seem archaic.”
The Payment Council’s survey also revealed that the amount of money spent in supermarkets has increased since 2001. For every retail pound spent today, 58p is spent in supermarkets, up from 46p. This comes at the expense of newsagents, where the amount spent is down by 20% compared with 2001. Kamellard urged businesses to “start planning now” for new ways of spending, or risk falling further behind.
Londis retailer Sunder Sandher has seen a rise in the number of contactless payments in both his Warwickshire and Oxfordshire stores. “It’s become very popular with my younger customers, especially as so many transactions in the store are under the £20 contactless payment limit,” he said. “A lot of students are using it quite regularly and it’s only going to grow.”