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written by
Christian Nellemann

Contactless: a no-brainer for small businesses

Loaves of bread

The latest data on contactless spending in the UK is proving beyond doubt the value of contactless payments for small businesses.

Contactless spending in pubs, bars and restaurants has soared – nearly doubling since September 2015. This is largely due to an increase in the contactless limit from £20 to £30.

Overall contactless spending in the UK is now close to £1 billion per month, and 1 in 10 card payments are now made via contactless. This data, provided by Barclaycard, reaffirms what most experts have already predicted: businesses that don’t offer contactless payments for small transactions could lose out to businesses that do.

The age of convenience

The success of contactless shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s a reflection of wider consumer trends – namely, that we want to buy things in the quickest, easiest way possible. We want convenience.

In fact, we don’t want convenience – we expect it. And for small businesses that haven’t yet committed to taking contactless payments, that’s significant.

Experts now suggest that customers get frustrated when contactless isn’t available. With contactless, service is faster, queues are shorter and paying is simpler. It’s no surprise that 71% of people think contactless is easier than chip and pin.

And this is especially important for small, independent businesses that don’t have the luxury of multiple tills or self-service check-outs. A customer that values convenience over everything else is fickle – fickle enough to choose the business that has contactless over the business that doesn’t.

Cash is no longer king

Research carried out in 2014 suggested that one third of Britons don’t carry cash anymore.

At first it’s an alarming statistic, and almost hard to believe. But in reality, it shouldn’t be that surprising.

You’ll probably have noticed that young people don’t normally carry cash. Hard currency just doesn’t mean anything to a generation accustomed to paying for things with one click, swipe or touch. But it’s not just young people waving goodbye to pound notes.

A society obsessed with convenience doesn’t want the hassle of queueing for money at cash machines. Then there’s the issue of ATMs that charge fees, which, despite being on the decline, are still prevalent in rural areas and on smaller high streets.

On these high streets, a customer is far more likely to choose the takeaway or café that uses contactless than the one that only accepts cash, or chip and pin with a charge for payments under £5.

So getting contactless is now a no-brainer. At XLN, we’re offering card processing terminals with contactless functionality to thousands of small businesses, and saving our customers money by giving them the lowest transaction rates in the industry. Typically much lower, in fact, than Barclaycard. Find out more here. 

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