The British Retail Consortium has this week released its 2013 figures. As expected technology continues to move us toward a cashless society. 2013 saw greater adoption of contactless card machines, digital advances such as mobile wallets and increased use of mobile chip and PIN readers.
- The BRC’s Payments Survey 2013 covers 60% or £191 billion in retail sales in 2013
- Use of debit cards up by 11% over the last 5 years to 50 per cent of retail sales value
- Decrease in the average debit card transaction value over last 5 and in the use of cash by 14 per cent
- Debit cards now account for 32% of the number of transactions, up from 30% last year
- Cash is still the dominant method of payment, 53% of transactions made in cash. This has decreased by 3% in the last year and 10% over the last 5 years
- Customers spending the same amount on credit cards in total but for fewer items
- Banks are still applying high charges on retailers handing credit card payments
- The average cost to a retailer to process a credit or charge card payment is now 41p, up 18% in the last 5 years
- Credit and charge cards account for only 9% of transactions but 49% of costs
- The cost to process a cash payment is now 1.3 p, a decrease of 38% in the last 5 years
- Debit card costs have increased by 4% in the last 5 years to 8.8 p per transaction. They account for 32% of transactions.
Surprisingly cash is still the dominant payment type accounting for 53% of transactions. You would expect this to continue to decline with the multitude of technologies that are competing to become your preferred method of payment. Contactless and mobile payments are really still in their infancy. How many people do you know who make payments with their mobile phone? In 5 years time that is likely to be everyone.
It seems unfair that at the same time retailers have (rightly) been made to reduce transaction fees for credit card payments the banks are levying even higher charges. It is good to see debit card charges coming down though. What do you think of the survey, are the results what you expected?