Kirklees firms have been urged to cash in on a rising trend at the tills.
Latest figures from industry body the Payments Council show that cashless payments have overtaken the use of notes and coins for the first time – with the use of cash by consumers, businesses and financial organisations accounting for just 48% of payments last year.
The report found that the remaining 52% comprised electronic transactions, ranging from high-value transfers to debit card payments as well as cheques.
Cash volumes are expected to fall by 30% over the next 10 years.
While cash remains king with consumers, who use it 52% of all their transactions in 2014, the forecast is that this figure will drop below 50% next year. However, there is no prediction for cash to disappear.
James Howard, founder and managing director of Brighouse-based merchant services provider Yorkshire Payments, said the findings were in line with the needs of his company’s customers – with a move towards debit card, contactless and mobile payments driving the move away from cash.
For businesses processing frequent payments of a small value, implementing a card payments system could be hugely beneficial to both the business itself and the customer, he said.
Said Mr Howard: “In the past, many businesses were reluctant to accept cards due to the fees involved in processing them, but today there are many benefits to going cashless.
“Cash actually carries an invisible cost as it requires a till point and staff to cash up. There is also more chance of staff theft when taking cash payments compared to cards.
“Using cashless systems can reduce queues, meaning a far greater number of customers can be served in the same period of time. This not only improves customers’ experiences, but also prevents operators losing out on business from those people who are not carrying cash.”
According to the Payments Council, a further development to expect this year is the increase in contactless transactions which are predicted to rise by 700m this year.
Contactless payment is a faster and easier way to pay, with limits increasing from the current £20 per transaction to £30 in September.
“Speed is often of the essence for customers and businesses should consider introducing contactless payments to increase this type of convenience,” said Mr Howard. “It suits high turnover, busy business environments such as retail or catering with transactions being processed in less than a second.
“With the launch of mobile payment platforms and the increase in near-field enabled phones, the number of contactless transactions is only going to increase together with the number of individuals who can access this technology.
“E-commerce business should consider that more sites are now being accessed from a smartphone than a desktop PC and invest in the appropriate technology to cater to their customers’ needs.”