A survey by payments firm Square has revealed that fewer than one in four payments in the UK are currently made with cash, as Coronavirus safety measures exacerbate the growth of contactless transactions.
The study charted a 288 percent increase in businesses becoming cashless between January and mid-July this year, with 31 percent of UK firms now ruling out cash as a payment option. “Covid has changed the way we pay,” said Square economist Felipe Chacon. “Existing trends towards digital and cashless payments and away from cash that have been underway for years have been greatly accelerated as a result of the pandemic.”
“Business owners have had to move fast, quickly adapting to new ways of getting paid. They’ve had to balance keeping themselves and customers safe and feel safe, alongside making every sale they can.”
The report also detailed an increase in remote payments made via mobile and online, with businesses using Square’s POS system processing 33 percent of payments online during April, as opposed to just two percent in January.
Hospitality continues to lead the way for cashless, with one third of the industry’s business now solely conducted through card and contactless, a significant increase on eight percent at the beginning of the year.