Almost three-quarters of Brits are concerned about having enough funds to manage the festive shopping period, a new report from fintech platform Trust Payments has found.
The Importance of Understanding Consumer Spending Habits surveyed 2,000 residents in the UK to find out their spending habits, purchase patterns and financial concerns and found that not only is the festive season a concern but over a quarter of Brits claim to be unsure of their current debt, while the same number claim that they have no idea how much they have accrued previously.
The research also found significant changes in buyer behaviour across the UK ahead of the busiest quarter for merchants and shows how businesses must realign their payment processes to how consumers want to spend during the cost of living crisis and the upcoming festive season.
The landscape of 2022
As the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns and cash makes a comeback, seven in 10 Brits over 60 and 69 per cent of 18-29-year-olds use cash during a typical month of spending. However, contactless payments continues to be more dominant – Debit/ credit cards are used by the majority (91 per cent) and in fact, 38 per cent of respondents use their debit card more when they’ve just been paid compared to the end of the month
The research showed that while cross-border payments can be complex, there is an appetite for this in the UK, with six in 10 Brits willing to pay using different currencies to access retailers outside the country. Not only are inter-currency payments attractive, but variety too, with one in two Brits saying that the way they pay for things depends on what they are buying, making it challenging for businesses to track purchase habits.
Managing stressful spending
Almost a quarter of Brits would be willing to share more personal data with businesses if it offered them an enhanced customer experience. The findings demonstrate a clear business opportunity to level up product and service offerings using consented consumer data. As the cost of living puts pressure on purses, almost a quarter of individuals find managing their spending stressful, which is why it’s essential for businesses to constantly review their systems to make paying simple, stress-free and flexible.
As we approach the festive season and an increase in bills and inflation, it should be no surprise that 73 per cent are concerned about having enough funds to manage the festive shopping period – a significant impact on the cost of living crisis. With over eight in 10 Brits concerned about fraud, including identity theft (74 per cent), bank impersonation (54 per cent) and phishing scams (45 per cent), secure payments have never been more important.
To keep up with these customer preferences is a challenge, and utilising the expertise of acquirers and tools such as TRU Insight will be a game-changer for businesses looking to get ahead. Merchants not using data to their advantage will struggle to retain customers during the peak buying season.
Laurence Booth, chief data officer at Trust Payments, commented: “There is currently a disconnect between Brits and businesses. Merchants are missing the opportunity to utilise the consensual customer data available to provide the products and services consumers want and need. The challenge businesses are facing is that they do not truly understand consumer spending habits and concerns. As the cost of living crisis reduces spending for people and tightens business margins, merchants can’t afford to avoid using this intelligence to their benefit.
“Technology presents an opportunity for businesses struggling to build a close and long-lasting relationship with their customers with the products they want and need. If merchants want to stand out from a saturated market, they must transform how they engage, interact and act with their customers.”