Small Business Goes Contactless as “Tap and Go” Tripled Across Europe in 2018

31 May 2019

Small Business Goes Contactless as “Tap and Go” Tripled Across Europe in 2018
Small Business Goes Contactless as “Tap and Go” Tripled Across Europe in 2018
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Consumer behaviour never stands still – even in Cyprus. The way customers pay for goods and services is undergoing a digital revolution and merchant payment services are in the forefront of the rapid change. Instant access and convenience offered by a payment solutions provider means cash payments at the point of sale are in noticeable decline as contactless cards become the consumers’ regular payment method of choice.

At the start of 2018, the Bank of Cyprus announced it would start issuing the first biometric cards where a customer’s fingerprint is scanned. Yet, just 12 months earlier a survey found that the share of cash-only payments in Cyprus, Greece and Malta was the highest at around 72 – 75 per cent (European Central Bank Report 2017). It was further noted that Cyprus was the only country where the majority of consumers said they “preferred to pay with cash if they are free to choose between cash and cashless means of payment”.

However, did you know that 50 per cent of 16-20 year olds now carry less than £10 in cash, while 12 per cent carry no cash whatsoever, which is predicted to rise in the future (Worldpay UK Payments Report, 2018). This is no surprise. Contactless payments makes it even quicker and easier than Chip and Pin to buy smaller value items with a instant “tap” rather than shuffling around for loose change.

Contactless in restaurants more than half of all payments

By 2018 a Visa report stated that the number of “tap and go” card payments across Europe had nearly tripled compared with a year earlier with around 165 million Visa contactless cards and 3.2 million payment terminals now active. The largest growth in contactless transactions was found to be within restaurants followed by retailers, supermarkets and fast food outlets.

The acceleration in contactless payments across the food and beverage sector, in particular, in only three years is unprecedented. In 2015, contactless card transaction represented just below one in five (17 per cent) but by 2017 had soared to more than half (57 per cent) of all payments. Share increase in restaurants jumped from just 11 per cent to 44 per cent.

Call for contactless limit to be raised

Today, small businesses are busy replacing their “Sorry we don’t accept cards” signs with “Sorry we don’t accept cash” as physical money becomes increasingly a smaller proportion of total takings. They are also seeing the clear benefits compared to the time and cost of banking an increasingly smaller amount of physical money.

With transactions set above the contactless limit available with Apple Pay there is now an increasing call for the limit to be raised across the board. Consumers are comfortable with higher value contactless payments and will expect businesses of all types to provide the means for instant payments, whatever the goods or services to be purchased.
Business owners – is cash increasingly a smaller proportion of total takings?
Get in touch with GAP Card Processing today for instant “tap and go” transactions.