Figures released today by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), show that card use rose from representing 54% of transactions in 2016 to 61% by May of this year. The continued move away from cash has been further fuelled by the pandemic, which has prompted a jump in contactless and online payments.
Yannis Larios, VP of Strategy at Viva Wallet the European cloud-based digital payments provider explainsow this poses a challenge for the retail industry, who will also now face the increasing cost associated with accepting card payments.
Larios said, “As the latest figures show, Coronavirus has accelerated the move towards a cashless society and driven disengagement with legacy card terminals. With retailers remaining under pressure to convince consumers to safely return to stores or complete purchases online, seamless payment systems that offer an intuitive user experience and streamlined processes have become essential.
For example, contactless terminals have already emerged as one solution that decreases the amount of human contact a customer has when making a transaction and improves shoppers’ safety. Next we anticipate seeing a move towards wearable payments, enabled by powerful smartphones and tablets which are becoming the next generation point of sale devices. These have the ability to offer additional tools for measuring customer satisfaction and supporting loyalty schemes.
However, as the retail industry continues to undergo a payments revolution, one of the biggest challenges will be tackling the cost of accepting payments as the use of card and contactless payments soars.
Europe is still very much a fragmented area, with payment silos in each country, between local banks and payment schemes. Retailers are increasingly looking for payment providers that make the life of merchants easier. By working with a single payment provider that can offer integrated payment and credit bundles across multiple countries, retailers can benefit from seamless access to a truly single payments market. It also creates a simpler payments process where consumers see local payment methods based on their individual preferences and devices used. At Viva Wallet we take this one step further by combining our card acquiring with our card issuing license, to offer merchants a genuine 0% acquiring fee when both acquiring and issuing is used.
By embracing digital debit cards as the new norm, enabling frictionless card acceptance and moving towards payment models that come with minimal merchant costs, retailers will be able to enhance the customer experience with a digital-first model that allows them to navigate any future disruption.”