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Consumers not getting the payments innovation they demand: Sage Pay

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A significant minority (22%) of shoppers say they would be more likely to shop somewhere that offers a choice of payment methods, including new ones, a new report has found. But while consumers are keen to find new ways to pay, businesses are slow to provide them, according to the Sage Pay 2015 Payments Landscape Report.

Some 45% of the 1,000 business decision makers questioned said payment innovation was not a priority for them this year, although 70% agreed that payment technology could improve the customer’s experience.

The study found that £1 in every £4 is spent online. Of that digital pound, 37p is spent via a mobile device. In the real world, cash is becoming less of a priority. The report forecasts that cashless payments will rise in number to 19.9bn by the end of this year, overtaking cash payments. The two preferred methods of payments will be online, and via debit or credit cards. By 2020, businesses predict that cash will be the fifth most popular payment type. Already, 22% of the 1,000 consumers questioned for the report said they were likely to start making contactless payments in the next year, while 31% of businesses say they are now equipped to accept such payments.

“Despite businesses agreeing that cash is dying, they aren’t reacting to the changing payments landscape quickly enough and, as a result, aren’t able to meet their customers’ demands,” said Sean Wilson, managing director of Sage Pay UK . “This report clearly shows that customers are ready and willing to be the guiding star, but only if companies are prepared – and able – to listen. Now is not the time for businesses to be treading water on payments technology – they need to invest to ensure they don’t follow outdated cash payments down the road to obscurity.”

Meanwhile, the Payments Council said cash payments had fallen below digital payments for the first time in 2014. Nonetheless, consumers still use cash for more than half (52%) of all their transactions. This, said the council, was expected to drop below 50% next year.

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