Is your business one only dealing in cash? If so, you have only five months before your customers start looking somewhere else, according to Paymentsense’s latest research. This research showed that customers would only visit small businesses for 4.6 months before becoming fed up with the limited payment option, with such businesses including retailers, coffee shops or food outlets.


Previous research from several financial experts have shown the UK is expected to go primarily digital when it comes to currency in roughly 2 years, and this recent statistic is clear proof of that. Despite organisations such as Access to Cash urging that cash remain a viable payment option, it’s clear businesses with no alternatives suffer more and more as time goes on.


The Waiting Differences

Like with many statistics, the region plays a key role in customer preferences. Norwich has the highest level of customer patience, with an average 6.5 months of customers waiting before expecting card payments to be introduced. Cardiff is just behind it at 6 months. On the flip side, the lowest patience is found in Birmingham at an average waiting time of 3.5 months, and Manchester only slightly more generous at 3.6 months.


Surprisingly, older people are generally less patient with businesses that don’t offer card payments. with those in the age range of 25-34 years old being wait 5.1 months on average, and those over 65 years waiting only 3.9 months.


Wealth also seems to be a substantial differentiator in patience. Those with a more comfortable living situation, namely an annual household income of £100,000 or more, would wait 6.1 months on average, whilst those of around 25-50k would only wait for 4.3 months.


The report is worrying for businesses that only deal with cash, as the report even recorded a large portion of customers leaving upon discovering they couldn’t use a card in the first place. A large group of customers won’t wait at all and will immediately give up if a business didn’t accept card payments, 53% to be exact, with 30% saying they’d be unlikely to return until changes were made.


Paymentsense’s statement

According to Paymentsense’s CMO, Guy Moreve: “Cash usage in the UK is shrinking at a

rapid rate and consumers are now living totally cashless lives. Although it’s important to recognise there’s still a place for cash, it’s difficult to ignore the signals that we’re moving towards the complete digitalisation of money. Our research provides a snapshot of consumer attitudes towards cash-only businesses, but the general trend suggests these expectations are evolving as we get closer to becoming a cashless society. Our latest Future of Payments report also reveals that consumers are already looking ahead towards improved payment systems in the UK, from fingerprint scanning and microchips to voice ID and biometrics.


“This has serious implications for small business owners and startups during the critical first few months of trading. Our research suggests there’s a definite time limit for new businesses to upgrade from cash-only transactions, after which customers may turn to competitors offering more convenient alternatives. Giving consumers the shopping experience they expect is becoming increasingly important to influencing reputation and even trading longevity.”


Why push away from cash?

Cash is the status quo, and clearly has worked for a long time, so surely people wonder why we’d move away from such a widely accepted norm. This is the next step, however, as the advancements in technology recently have made sticking to these old norms a lot less convenient. When all your finances can be condensed into one piece of plastic, why deal with cash ever again? Fumbling with change might be what you’re used to, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This, on top of always having the money you need, is starting to make cash look a little outdated.


It isn’t only Britain that is showing this switch towards digital currency. For example, Sweden is leading the way for many countries looking to transition to a cashless society. This can have some benefits, such as far less government spending on printing notes and making coins, saving on the materials used to create them in the first place, and curbing illegal activities like drug deals. In terms of travelling, it’s also more helpful when it comes to people no longer having to exchange their money into another currency, as it would be fully automated.


Going completely cashless, at least at this point, may be a stretch for Britain. It’s clear, however, that relying completely on cash won’t work in meeting the standards of the modern world’s majority. If your business is one still dealing purely in cash, these statistics may be worrying, but card terminals are easy to use and widely available!


That’s where we come in

We here at CheaperPay can help your company accept card. According to Santander, 60% said they would use small businesses more often if they could pay using cards. Visit for a FREE quote.