Cashfree payments set to drive small business recovery in the retail sector, Tyl by NatWest data reveals

More than a quarter, (24%) of British SME retailers have reported that all payments made to their business are already contactless as the sector adjusts to the rapid increase in e-commerce and online transactions, accelerated by the pandemic. (Table one)

The latest data from Tyl by NatWest in partnership with YouGov revealed that British SMEs working in retail 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 adopting card payments for the first time, compared to 37% before, and the pace of this change is only expected to increase.

Almost half (44%) of decision makers working in the retail sector 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. (Table three)

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 in the retail sector. “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 in the sector 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.

Revenue raiser

Almost half 44% of SMEs in the retail sector agreed that their business will lose revenue as a direct consequence if they were not to offer contactless payments due to the pandemic, likely due to consumer concerns around the safety of cash and the shift towards online and mobile payments. (Table four)

With social distancing also reducing capacity in shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, small businesses can no longer restrict payments to the cash desk. Tyl’s portable terminals grants cashiers the freedom to take payments across the entire venue.

Safety concerns

Finally, the survey suggests that decisions to adopt cashfree payment systems extend beyond a desire to meet consumer demand and retain revenue streams. SMEs in the retail sector 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. (Table two)

Support for all payment methods

Whilst the consumer and business trend towards contactless and card payments continues, NatWest continues to support its personal and business customers with cash requirements, as supporters of UK Finance’s Access to Cash Initiative. The bank has become the first in the UK to offer fee-free secure cash home delivery to vulnerable customers, as well as keeping over 95% of the branch network open throughout the pandemic, and backing ATM operator LINK’s 12-month pledge to maintain free-to-use ATMs.

Tyl by NatWest is a new payments service designed in partnership with UK SMEs to make it easier for small business customers across the country to receive payments in-store, online and over the phone and manage cash flow during COVID-19 and beyond. Tyl provides next-day settlement for users, ensuring money is in their bank account the next business day, which has been a crucial factor in assisting businesses with cash flow during the coronavirus pandemic.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1056 senior decision makers in SMEs. Fieldwork was undertaken between 1st - 7th September 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of British business size.

Table one:

When, if ever, do you think that all payments made to your business will be contactless?

All payments to my business are already contactless

Within the next year

Within the next 3 years

Within the next 5 years

Longer than 5 years

Never

24%

8%

13%

11%

14%

21%

           

Table two:

How comfortable, if at all, do you feel about employees in your business, including yourself, handling cash during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

Comfortable

Not comfortable

51%

23%

Table three:

"Being able to accept contactless payments will allow my business to operate more successfully after the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic"

Strongly agree

25%

Tend to agree

19%

Neither agree nor disagree

39%

Tend to disagree

8%

Strongly disagree

8%

Net: Agree

44%

Net: Disagree

17%

Table four:

"My business will lose revenue if we don't offer customers the opportunity to make contactless payments due to the Coronavirus"

Strongly agree

22%

Tend to agree

22%

Neither agree nor disagree

36%

Tend to disagree

8%

Strongly disagree

11%

Net: Agree

44%

Net: Disagree

20%

 

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