Public is inconvenienced by businesses that don’t accept cards, says survey


Majority of people believe cash set to become extinct


Almost two thirds of people carry £20 or less


Nearly a third (30%) of the UK public have been inconvenienced in the last year by a retailer not taking cards, according a new YouGov survey conducted for small business payments specialists CardSave. The poll indicates that retailers that refuse to accept cards are losing out to modern consumers, who carry hardly any cash.


In fact, 16% of people have walked out of a shop in the past year without making their intended purchase because the retailer didn’t accept cards, while 22% have been forced to leave to seek out a cash point. 7% have purchased less than they intended to due to retailers’ only accepting cash.


The survey shows that the days of carrying large amounts of cash are over. 62% of people carry £20 or less in cash on them on average. 48% carry £15 or less and 35% carry up to £10. Yet almost everyone (93%) carries a credit or debit card.


According to CardSave’s own Small Business Payments Index, which launches today and is compiled from card payments data for over 40,000 small businesses, the average card transaction at small, independent merchants in February was for £64.27. This splits into averages of £96.56 on credit card and £54.14 on debit card. With only 12% of the population carrying £50 or more in cash, retailers who do not accept cards are therefore likely to be missing out on high-value customers.


A majority of the public, 57%, believe that cash will become extinct at some point in the future – with 50% predicting that this will be by 2035. 36% forecast that this will be by 2025.


Clive Kahn, Chief Executive of CardSave, which enables small businesses to accept payments more easily comments: “The days when consumers wanted to pay by cash are over. They increasingly expect to pay by card for everything – from small shops to tradespeople such as painters and window-cleaners.


“Small businesses benefit significantly from accepting cards, winning more business, making larger sales and maintaining their competitiveness against major retailers.”


The YouGov poll coincides with the first ever Small Business Payments Index by CardSave on expenditure on cards at SMEs in each sector of the economy over the past year. The most significant changes in February 2012 (compared to February 2011) in average amounts spent include the following:

  • Average spend on home improvements was up 32%, from £169.37 to £233.10
  • Spending on bicycle sales and servicing was up 10% from an average of £69.89 to £77.07.
  • Restaurants, pubs and bars saw a 9% decrease in the average transaction value from an average of £32.59 to £29.66.
  • Average card spend on taxis, cabs and limos was also down 8% from £112.24 in February 2011 to £103.03 in February 2012.
  • Highest card transaction values were in the home improvements and leisure sectors.



About CardSave:


CardSave was formed in 1995 by an independent retailer frustrated by the high costs of credit and debit card processing. Today CardSave is a member of the WorldPay Group, Europe’s largest card processor and has more than 55,000 members operating across a multitude of business sectors, with thousands more joining each month.


Taking the pain and costs out of accepting cards, CardSave prides itself on delivering a personalised and professional service to independent businesses and start-ups. Providing individually tailored cost-effective payment solutions, its customers have the option of taking card payments through both physical terminals and online gateways. CardSave makes card processing easy for retail Chip & PIN, mail, telephone and online payments with the latest Countertop and Portable Bluetooth credit card machines.


CardSave is headquartered in Grimsby, North-East Lincolnshire.


About the CardSave Small Business Payments Index

The CardSave Small Business Payments Index provides insight into credit and debit card spending at SMEs and micro-businesses across the UK. It is based on data for monthly card payments made at over 40,000 independent businesses, across 300 sectors.


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2069 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th – 14th March 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).