New research conducted by embedded finance provider YouLend and payment service provider Dojo has revealed a significant trend when it comes to the way businesses are operating: they are ditching cash payments.
In fact, only five per cent of businesses in the UK only accept cash today, according to the data, published in a new whitepaper: Less Cash, More Possibility.
The research indicates that the primary driver is a proliferation in mobile payments. Already, almost half (48 per cent) of businesses have adopted digital payment methods – with female-owned businesses taking the lead, at a 51 per cent adoption rate, relative to 42 per cent for male-owned businesses. This is largely driven by today’s digital-first society, where mobile devices have become a one-stop-shop for daily admin for consumers – particularly post-covid, when national lockdowns forced people to spend more time inside their homes.
In fact, more than six out of 10 people in the UK used Apple Pay for point-of-sale transactions in 2021 – more than any other country in the world.
But as well as tapping into digital-native target demographics, there are wider benefits for businesses to going cashless – including improving cash flow.
“This research shows that both business owners and consumers are embracing new payment methods,” added Jon Knott, head of customer insight at Dojo. “What we hear from our over 40,000 customers across the UK is that accepting card and digital wallet payments as part of their payment mix gives them unique benefits, including speed, security and reconciliation, giving them time back to run their business. To lean into the shift shown in this research, business owners should be thinking about providing the right mix of payments based on their customers’ needs. ”
Good cash flow is key for the health of any business, especially in today’s challenging economic climate. And businesses, regardless of payment method acceptance, rightly cite improving cash flow as critical. With 42 per cent of businesses stating that card acceptance improves their cash flow, and 69 per cent stating that next day payments help with cash flow and business management, it is clear the move to cashless payments is enabling businesses to take back control of their cash flow.
“SMEs today are being hit from all angles. In addition to battling inflation and supply chain disruption, they also face exclusion from traditional finance providers because of outdated approaches to risk assessment. SMEs generate a crucial part of the UK’s GDP – but in order to thrive, managing their cash flow is essential. As this adoption of cashless payments increases, we expect to see more trust and social-proofing, leading to a compounded growth in these newer payment solutions to suit an even wider pool of businesses,” commented Jakob Pethick, CCO, YouLend.