Brits want contactless limit increased

Published: 07/10/2020

We don’t need to tell you the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has had a dramatic impact on every area of life as we knew it, including how us Brits are making payments.

It’s been a tricky time for businesses, who’ve had no option but to rapidly adapt to keep up with government guidelines and changes in consumer habits.

Here at takepayments, we’ve done what we can from day one to help, so here we’ll bring you the latest developments in UK consumer demands, and explain what you can do to meet them.

The new normal

On April 1st, 2020, at the very height of lockdown, the contactless card limit in the UK was raised from £30 to £45 to allow shoppers a safer way to pay for more goods and services. 

Contactless payments, as the name suggests, don’t require any physical contact between payer and payee, meaning they don’t harbour any transmission risk from shared points of contact, and for this reason, the popularity of contactless payments has skyrocketed in the wake of COVID-19, and the new higher limit was adopted by consumers at a rapid rate.

Since March 2020, the stats on British spending are pretty conclusive:

  • 90% of all face-to-face transactions since April 1st, 2020 were contactless, according to Barclaycard.
  • 83% of consumers agree contactless is the ‘cleanest’ way to pay.
  • 66% admit contactless is their preferred way to pay.
  • 76% state they’ll continue to pay contactless-ly when the pandemic is over.

Brits want more

But that’s not the end of the story, a recent survey conducted by YouGov and commissioned by ACI Worldwide showed 40% of Brits want the contactless limit raising further, to £100.

ACI’s vice president believes this new way of spending is here to stay, calling the pandemic a “massive accelerator and has led to behavioural change among consumers that normally would take years.”

And he’s not alone, payment experts are calling this shift a ‘sticky habit’, meaning it’s one that’s highly likely to outlive the pandemic and change the way we pay forever. 

Unsurprisingly then, industry leaders are arguing UK contactless spending limits should be increased further to keep up with the transformed attitudes of consumers.

Could we see the end of cash?

On the flip side but for the same reason, the prevalence of cash is at an all-time low as governing bodies have warned against it and consumers are afraid for their safety if they do. In fact:

  • 54% of Brits admit they’re afraid to handle cash, and
  • Cash usage in the UK is down a whopping 50% thanks to COVID-19.

Is this the end for cash? It’s hard to imagine a world without it, but the consensus for many payment experts is that COVID-19 will contribute significantly to the long-term rapid decrease of cash usage in the UK.

How to accept contactless card payments

The moral of the story is businesses who want to keep up with consumer demands and maintain a competitive advantage both now and in the future need to be ready to accept contactless payments - no matter the limit. 

The good news is it’s easier than ever to get started thanks to the latest payment systems available on the market. 

Card machines

Here at takepayments, we offer three market-leading card machines that are set up ready and rearing to accept contactless payments as standard.

Countertop

Our countertop card machine does exactly what it says on the tin - sits on your countertop, bar, reception desk, or any fixed point of sale and accepts card payments.

It’s plugged into your phone line or broadband, is small and compact, prints instant receipts and is packed full of the latest security features for your and your customers’ safety.

Portable

A takepayments portable card machine boasts a 50-meter range and is powered by Bluetooth, allowing you to take card payments from anywhere on your premises - ideal for the likes of bars and restaurants (especially given the current table-service-only rules).

There are no wires to contend with, just a charging base which you pop it on at the end of service, and it’s also compact, lightweight, prints instant receipts and is loaded with security features.

Mobile

Our mobile card reader allows you to accept card payments from anywhere in the UK thanks to its inbuilt 3G technology and GPRS.

It holds a long-lasting charge, comes with a charging base and micro-USB, prints instant receipts, is light and durable, plus it’s a doddle to set up. 

Beepaid

As we’ve seen, British consumers want to pay contactless-ly for larger transactions and that’s where our game-changing payments app comes into play.

Beepaid is a super simple solution which only requires your mobile phone to get started, but the best news is it allows for totally contactless transactions no matter the amount, and it works like this:

  1. Open the app and add your customer’s details.
  2. Request a payment, and your customer gets a text or email with a link to a secure payments page, where they enter their card details.
  3. You get paid.

We told you it was simple, right? Installation of beepaid is fast and straightforward, you’ll be able to see a payment history of all transactions, track outstanding payments, and we offer a UK help desk six days a week should you need us. 

Order and beepaid

Our brand new Order and beepaid app lets businesses take orders and payments from the table, or offer a collection or delivery service. It's perfect for restaurants, pubs & cafes and your customers can scan a QR code, order & pay on their phone. Easy!

Ready to get the ball rolling with contactless payments? We pride ourselves in supporting small business’ success, and that’s why we:

  • Don’t charge sign up or exit fees
  • Offer personalised pricing packages
  • Have local consultants up and down the country
  • Offer short 12-month contracts.

Sold? Reach out and chat to one of our friendly experts today!

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

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