Being able to facilitate sales quickly and easily is one of the ways to ensure repeat business and to keep your customers happy and satisfied. But if you only offer one way of paying, it’s possible that if issues occur that your customers will go elsewhere, even if you have done a stellar job.
There’s no denying that offering the option to pay by card is very convenient for customers – and basically an absolute must for doing business these days. People expect to be able to pay by card and if the facilities aren’t available, they likely won’t be very impressed.
But given new research from consumer champion Which? revealing that 15 per cent of people in Scotland were unable to use their card because of an outage in 2018. And 49 per cent of those affected found themselves unable to pay for goods and services at the point of sale.
The findings showcase just how vulnerable digital banking and payments actually are, reinforcing the need for payment methods like cash to be protected as digital alternatives become more commonplace.
A cash summit is now being hosted by the watchdog to find out how progress can be made in this regard, after a review into access to cash came to the conclusion that the country’s cash infrastructure was nearing collapse.
Head of money at Which? Gareth Shaw said: “Digital payments have enhanced many people’s lives – but many still rely on cash and all of us risk being shut out of paying for goods and services when technology lets us down.
“The UK government’s commitment to protecting access to cash must see its new strategy group quickly exploring all options – including legislation – to ensure cash is protected for those for whom it is a necessity and as a vital back-up for when digital systems fail.”
The Federation of Small Businesses’ policy and advocacy chairman, Martin McTague, responded to the Which? research, saying that it’s essential shoppers aren’t left in the lurch because of glitches and find themselves unable to use digital methods of payment, while not having access to bank branches or cash points.
He went on to explain that both the resilience and reach of the country’s digital payments infrastructure has to be improved, including nationwide access to more reliable broadband. And cash infrastructure has to be maintained for as long as it is wanted and necessary.
Another point that Mr McTague made was that it can be costly for smaller businesses to process card payments, so terminal providers and regulators both need to work together in order to drive these costs down to help benefit the economy.
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