SMEs urged to keep up with digital payments demand

A new study suggests that UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to embrace digital payments technology in order to keep up with consumer demand.

According to research carried out by Verve in collaboration with Verifone, less than a third (29 per cent) of today’s SMEs accept in-store app payments such as Google Pay and Apple Pay.

This is despite the fact that substantial evidence indicates that digital and alternative payments options are growing in popularity among consumers, and cash is becoming less and less popular as the years go by.

Earlier this summer, banking trade body UK Finance revealed that the number of debit and credit card payments made in the UK overtook the use of cash for the first time in 2017.

A staggering 13.2 billion debit card payments were made over the course of the year, spurred on largely by a boom in contactless payments.

Technology is rapidly evolving and the ways in which consumers prefer to pay for goods and services is becoming increasingly diverse.

Recent figures from research portal Statista suggest that the likes of Apple Pay and Android Pay are becoming popular among age groups ranging from 16 to 24 year-olds to 35 to 44 year-olds.

According to the portal’s data, 25 to 34 year-olds are currently the group most likely to use mobile payment technology, making up almost a third (30 per cent) of all Apple Pay and Android Pay users.

However, the technology is also very popular among 16 to 24 year-olds (29 per cent) and 35 to 44 year-olds (22 per cent) – something which businesses should perhaps keep in mind when considering the age of their target audience.

Nathan Gill, Vice President of Verifone, said that there was evidence of a “sea of change all around us” in terms of UK payment trends.

“Today’s consumer is setting a challenging pace, forcing retailers to keep up,” he said.