Over the last couple of years, the UK payments landscape has seen a huge amount of change. This looks set to continue as consumers believe that conventional cash will be ranked as the 5th most popular payment type in 2020.It demonstrates how consumers are open to alternative methods and how innovative payments methods are pushing out the more traditional forms. Recently, we saw the launch of Samsung Pay in South Korea and the announcement that the Apple Pay rival will hit US shores in September. It’s yet another new technology in a long line of payments tech that has recently entered our lives. Wearable to contactless From wearable tech to contactless, the ways for us to pay are growing. It’s also clearly a very lucrative market with numerous tech giants such as Apple, Google and now Samsung all vying for a slice of the payments industry pie. To add another layer of complexity, we’re beginning to see some very successful startups enter the payments scene. Take Zapp for example – the mobile payments app has now partnered with major UK banks and is proving itself as a key player in the industry. Despite this very crowded market, consumers are keen to adopt innovative payments technologies. Already, 22 per cent of consumers are set to adopt contactless next year after a 275 per cent growth since 2014. This demand for contactless has led to a ban on the £5 minimum spend to come into effect by 2020 and the £20 cap has recently been increased to £30. In addition to this, mobile spending is growing at a rate of 36 per cent. It’s clear that the need for all businesses to embrace the innovative technology we see within the payments industry has never been greater. Embrace new payment methods This means that new payments methods are, and will continue to be, an integral part of any business. Business owners need to ensure they’re providing a wide range of payment options to meet their customers’ varied payments demands and making the payments experience as painless and as easy as possible. For Angelo Alexandrou, Managing Director of small, London-based pharmaceutical business Dermacia, ensuring his payments technology is up to date is a top priority. Not only does it mean his business can accept payments in whichever form the customer so desires, the payments process is also quicker and more streamlined. “Our customers are starting to use more recent payments methods like contactless,” explains Alexandrou. “This new payments technology cuts down queue time for our customers and we will certainly be on the look out to offer any new payments methods in our store in order to attract more business.” For small businesses especially, being able to offer customers the option to pay in whichever way they want is vital to building good customer relations and loyalty. At the moment, the UK payments landscape is certainly an exciting radically changing marketplace. However, it’s imperative for businesses to realise that despite the confusion, consumers are keen to adopt these innovative payments types. Therefore, businesses need to embrace them as well and ensure they’re meeting customer demand when it comes to payments or risk losing out on revenue to those that do. Sean Wilson is MD of Sage Pay.
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