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Retailers Still Love the Smell of Cash

Recent research by the Alliance & Leicester has revealed that almost a quarter of a million UK retailers still prefer cold, hard cash as their preferred method of payment for customer transactions.

Despite credit cards recently overtaking cash as consumers preferred payment method at the tills, 42% of retailers in the UK say they prefer transactions to be completed by cash above all other methods of payment. Although credit cards in the UK have muscled in on the role that cash plays at UK tills, this research reaffirms the importance of cash throughout UK retail sector. Almost a quarter of a million retailers are still of the opinion that ‘cash is still king’.

Whilst cash still has an important role to play in the retail industry, the humble cheque’s appeal continues to dwindle with 12 % (one in eight) saying the prefer it. Even the debit card has seen it’s popularity fall, as only one in four (24%) prefer it as their chosen transaction method.

Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank's comprehensive Cash Survey also reveals that almost two thirds (63 per cent) of small and medium retail businesses are of the opinion that dealing with credit cards and cheques as too expensive and consequently, half (49 per cent) perceive cash to be both cheaper and easier to manage.

For millions of UK businesses, the note and the coin are still vital to the retail industry with just over 50% of businesses handling more than £100 in cash daily. Added to that is the fact that 31% of retail firms believe that should customers cease to make cash payments then their businesses would suffer as a result. A staggering 49,000 businesses fear they would have to cease trading if customers stopped dealing in cash.

To shed further light on it’s survey, Russell Carter, Head of Cash Marketing at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, said: “ Our research highlights that cash continues to play a critical role in the retail industry. Nearly a quarter of a million retail businesses in the UK prefer to deal in cash and 170,000 retailers rely on it to maintain a successful business, thereby proving that cash very much remains the lifeblood of the industry.

“ With monthly cash intake figures for the industry as a whole reaching the £8 billion mark, it's important that retail businesses choose a bank account most suited to their needs and avoid unnecessary cash handling charges.”

Alisdair Milton
9th September 2006

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