More than half of UK businesses (54%) have expressed concerns about payment sanctions following international unrest, according to market research by international payment service provider and direct bank card acquirer ECOMMPAY. The data reveals that 18% of UK business leaders are extremely concerned about ongoing payment sanctions due to international unrest.
Across key sectors, business leaders in travel and aviation (82%), banking (75%), and manufacturing (71%) expressed the most concern. In contrast, art organisations (36%), advertising agencies (20%), and consultants (18%), feel the least worried about ongoing payment sanctions according to findings.
Regionally, businesses in Greater London are the most anxious (64%), followed by the West Midlands (59%). Among the UK’s biggest cities, Birmingham-based businesses reported the most concern (64%), followed by Brighton (62%), London (61%), and then Glasgow (60%).
The research also found that medium-sized businesses (250 – 500 employees) are significantly more worried about the effects of payment sanctions (83%) compared to smaller companies with less than 20 employees (42%), and sole traders (23%).
Payment sanctions have been destabilising for many businesses, hindering growth and development but there are still opportunities for expansion into other regions.
For example, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Asian market is forecasted to grow at 7.5% in 2021 and 6.4% in 2022. UK-based businesses can tap into these oversea markets and strengthen their presence in existing markets by expanding their payment methods and online presence.
Alternative payment choices such as buy now pay later (BNPL) or Open Banking solutions will help businesses target new audiences whilst managing the cost of card fees and improving security with increased checks.
The data shows that travel and aviation enterprises are already considering the challenges in diversifying their payment methods to strengthen their position in home and overseas markets.
Almost half (46%) cited consumers needing more payment options and flexibility with new BNPL models as the biggest payment challenge for 2022. Similarly, hospitality businesses expressed that offering a variety of payment options for consumers would be the biggest obstacle to overcome this year (42%).
Businesses still appreciate the benefits of using payment providers. More than a quarter (32%) of retail leaders feel that the ability to offer website payments to consumers is the biggest benefit payment providers offer. The importance of offering online website payments was more pronounced in the computing (100%), catering (60%) and design (57%) sectors.
Businesses prioritising payment choice is in line with the research’s findings, which reveal that almost half of consumers (49%) expect to be using debit cards regularly within the next five years. Payment methods such as PayPal (35%), Direct Debit (29%), and Credit Cards (25%) were cited as the most popular methods of payment for consumers.
Paul Marcantonio, Executive Director UK & Western Europe at ECOMMPAY said, “Unrest across the international market has led to severe payment sanctions that have understandably unnerved business leaders across all sectors and regions in the UK. It is a tricky period for many businesses as consumer spending habits have changed.
“Now, they rely on a variety of online payment methods such as debit cards and PayPal. More than ever, it is critical that businesses have the right technology implemented to enable different payments, giving consumers choice.
“Equally important to businesses is having the ability to protect customers from fraud and provide an effortless shopping experience all at the same time. Payment providers like ECOMMPAY work closely with business to make this a reality.”