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Retailers Preparing for Brexit: Rise in Brands Allowing Shoppers to Pay with International Currency

Analysis of the UK’s top 250 retailers has found a 19% year-on-year increase in the number of brands offering the option to pay in international currency. 

The figure forms part of an annual performance index carried out by leading ecommerce and digital agency, Visualsoft. 

The report examined the sector’s biggest names and found that 81% of these retailers are offering customers the option to pay in non-sterling alternatives. This was an increase on the 62% of retailers that offered international payments in 2017. The majority of these are Euros and USD, with 1% of retailers offering Yen. 

The increase is likely to be a reaction to Brexit-related uncertainty in the lead-up to 29th March.

The research also found that the prevalence of innovative payment methods is increasing. For example, after only being in the market for little over a year, Amazon Pay is already being used by 10% of top retailers – showing clear movement towards a more diverse spectrum of payments offered.

A further one in 10 of retailers analysed offer finance products from lenders such as Klarna – up from almost nothing in 2017. Research has found that around three-quarters (78%) of consumers would consider purchasing through retail finance, with the average spend of £620, so offering this type of payment could prove a fundamental avenue for future growth.

However, this appeared to be having a detrimental impact on basic payment methods. A quarter (23%) fail to offer a payment choice other than a mainstream credit or debit card. This has worsened by 4% year-on-year.

Dale Higginbottom, head of CRO at Visualsoft, commented: “These figures suggest proactivity in the lead-up to Brexit and adoption of new payment trends, which is great to see. However, we know that up to a quarter of consumers also abandon their transactions at checkout because the retailer doesn’t provide their payment method of choice. Offering a wide range of options is an important way for retailers to maximise their sales potential, but too many are still not doing so – with 23% neglecting an offer outside of traditional cards. This inability to get the basics right could prove crucial as we move into 2019.”

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