Huge increase in debit & credit payment processing

Small Business Advice 12 June 2010

As a direct result of Chip and PIN technology there came a landslide of debit and credit payment processing, the types of which could not have been predicted. Now the amountof people using their debit or credit card to make those everyday purchases has risen and is expected to account for well over half of all transactions over the next five years. This is set to rise even more rapidly with the steady introduction of contactless technology and its new increased maximum spending limit of £15.

Has cash lost its appeal?

It isn’t that cash may have lost its appeal; it’s more likely that it has just become a little more unnecessary. People prefer not to carry large amounts of cash with them and because many people have their salaries paid directly into their bank accounts they don’t often have actual access to their own funds without withdrawing it from a cash machine. Is it really so strange that we should stop using cash? After all, we used to trade goods for other goods centuries ago and this faded simply because people had a greater desire for currency in order to buy a variety of things.

So what is so unlikely about cash becoming extinct as a method of trade? Just because cash and currency, in general, have been around for such a long it doesn’t mean that we owe it any loyalty does it?

Debit and credit card payment processing

What is causing this revolt? What is changing centuries of cash use’ The culprit is the introduction of the debit and credit cards of course. But what has amplified this even more is the introduction of the debit and credit card terminal. Very few people pay for their items with cash and now even in restaurants, where cash used to be a common sight, waiting staff carry a mobile credit card terminal mounted on a silver tray.

This debit and credit payment processing increase isn’t restricted to the large businesses in the UK either, small business credit card processing has increased enormously too. It is now common to find a merchant card machine in any and all of the following places:

Restaurants, takeaways and cafes.


Small retail shops.

Newsagents and convenience stores.

Public houses and bars.

These are just a few of the places where cash would have usually have been the usual form of payment, but now all of the above (and many more you could probably add) accept credit cards.

The decline of cash purchases

Based upon a recent report by The Payments Council, it is expected that in eight-ten years only one in 50 people will be paid their wage in cash, whereas at the beginning of the century one in eight people were paid in this way. This evidence clearly identifies that this is a definite decline in cash usage.

A number of years ago you could walk into a retail outlet or restaurant anywhere in the country and find that cash was the usual form of payment. These days it is much likely to happen the other way around. The world no longer appears to tolerate cash; it’s built around the use of debit and credit card processing. Indeed, as our society grows, not using credit and debit cards would be like building roads and then proceeding to drive on the pavement.

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