Small stores losing out most as shoppers demand to pay by card

OVER one third of British shoppers avoid businesses that fail to take card payments, or specify a minimum payment, according to Santander and iZettle.

Small businesses are losing out through a lack of cashless options, as independent retailers are most likely to refuse card payments, according to the survey. It shows 60 per cent say they would use small businesses more often if they could use credit and debit cards.

And 78 per cent of consumers also say they are less likely to carry cash than they were five years ago, keeping only £20 or £30 on their person. Young people are most likely to avoid shops without flexible options for payment.

Bigger businesses have the most to gain from shoppers’ frustration, as two thirds of those who say they leave when unable to pay by card go on to a large supermarket. Taxis, pubs and market stalls were named as other prominent services which are unlikely to take card payments.

Jacob de Geer, CEO of iZettle, said that younger generations were increasingly expecting to be able to pay by card.

The fledgling Swedish business has received a €5m (£4.25m) investment from Santander to expand further into the UK market.

The start-up produces a small card reader that attaches to smart phones and tablets, providing a means of taking electronic payments for smaller businesses. The technology can also be used on the move, or outdoors for market stalls. There is a 2.75 per cent commission on each transaction.

At the end of last month, the British Retail Consortium confirmed that cash use was falling dramatically, with 10 per cent fewer purchases using notes and coins in 2012 than 2011. Over two thirds of spending is done by card.