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Shoppers lose patience with cash-only start-ups

New businesses that start up operating cash-only transactions could be risking their future, according to research from Paymentsense.

A survey of over 1,000 consumers reveals how UK shoppers would continue to visit a new SME, small retailer, independent coffee shop or food outlet for an average of 4.6 months before becoming impatient with their cash-only status.

The research also revealed that not accepting card payments is an instant turn off for some UK consumers. Over half (53%) of respondents would leave a small business immediately if card payments are not available, with 30% reporting they would be less likely to return in future.

The research also found that consumer patience levels vary regionally. Small businesses in Norwich benefit from the most forgiving population, with shoppers willing to wait an average of 6.5 months, while the most impatient city is Birmingham, where consumers expect to have a cashless option within just 3.5 months.

Of all the groups questioned, millennials (25-34 yrs) were the most forgiving, willing to wait five months on average, while those over 65 were the least, only considering waiting four months.

Guy Moreve, CMO of Paymentsense, said: “Cash usage in the UK is shrinking at a rapid rate and consumers are now living totally cashless lives. Although it’s important to recognise there’s still a place for cash, it’s difficult to ignore the signals that we’re moving towards the complete digitalisation of money. Our research provides a snapshot of consumer attitudes towards cash-only businesses, but the general trend suggests these expectations are evolving as we get closer to becoming a cashless society.”

He adds: “This has serious implications for small business owners and startups during the critical first few months of trading. Our research suggests there’s a definite time limit for new businesses to upgrade from cash-only transactions, after which customers may turn to competitors offering more convenient alternatives. Giving consumers the shopping experience they expect is becoming increasingly important to influencing reputation and even trading longevity.”

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