Is there a future for cash in the retail sector?

Debit cards are the most popular form of payment as falling cash use pushed notes and coins down to third place.

Credit and charge cards accounted for £82bn, or 22%, of retail sales in 2018, outstripping cash (£78bn) for the first time, according to the British Retail Consortium. Spending on debit cards totalled £216bn.

The report stated that cash accounted for just over £1 in every £5 spent with UK shops and it argued that rising costs faced by retailers to process card payments could push up prices. Founder and CEO of retail technology app Ubamarket, Will Broome, commented on the announcement: "The BRC report highlights the changing nature of payments on the UK high street. Government support to bring down card costs would be welcomed by retailers and shoppers alike.”

Even just recognising that card payments, in-app and mobile payments are fast on the rise would be helpful, he said. Retailers need to adapt to this trend as it is only likely to increase, especially as cash is replaced by the alternatives.

“Retailers need to adopt technology as soon as possible to ensure that they do not fall behind in the retail race. Shops are closing at an unprecedented rate and the speed to adapt to consumer demands has been too slow, essentially pushing retailers under.

“Embracing technology is the only way to ensure retailers can stay one step ahead of consumer trends to maximise footfall and profitability in the years to come."

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