The latest data from payments service Tyl by NatWest, in partnership with YouGov, has revealed that British SMEs have been quick to adapt the way they do business and their payment systems in response to Covid-19. With 65% of businesses registering for Tyl’s services since the start of UK lockdown and adopting card payments for the first time, compared to 37% before, the pace of this change is only expected to increase.
More than a third (36%) of SME decision makers agree that being able to accept contactless payments will allow them to operate more successfully after the pandemic. This is likely due to the need to adapt to evolving customer demand for contactless payment options, taking online payment, safety in handling cash and speedier transfer of funds.
Mike Elliff, CEO, Tyl said: “This latest research clearly demonstrates the role that contactless, mobile and remote payment systems will play in facilitating the economic recovery from Covid-19. There’s now a huge consumer demand for contactless payment methods, which is driving small businesses to switch their operating models at considerable speed in order to achieve success. We hope that by highlighting these challenges we can equip businesses throughout the UK to capitalise on the demand for contactless payment opportunities.”
The survey examined the role of contactless, mobile and remote payments in aiding the economic recovery from Covid-19, with 31% of SMEs agreed that their business will lose revenue as a direct consequence if they were not to offer contactless payments due to the pandemic. This is likely due to consumer concerns around the safety of cash and the shift towards online and mobile payments, as well as social distancing and other restrictions.
Finally, the survey also suggests that decisions to adopt cashfree payment systems extend beyond a desire to meet consumer demand and retain revenue streams. SME businesses are concerned about the personal health and wellbeing of their employees with almost a quarter (23%) stating that they do not feel comfortable with their employees or themselves handling cash during the pandemic.