By Daniel Hunter

Almost three quarters (71%) of people in the UK are now expressing concerns or dissatisfaction with having to use or handle cash to pay for goods and services.

Research from WorldPay Zinc, the mobile pay-as-you-go Chip & PIN payment service, reveals that UK consumers are increasingly turning their backs on cash as a means to make payments, due to security fears and the inconvenience of withdrawing money.

Half of people (50%) feel anxious when carrying lots of cash, rising to 54% amongst women, and over a third (37%) don’t like visiting ATMs to withdraw funds. Nearly a third of consumers (32%) would ‘feel much safer’ if they didn’t have to carry any cash on them at all.

The survey of over 5,000 consumers found that cash is increasingly being viewed as inconvenient and unsafe, particularly for transactions over the value of as little as £10. Over half (53%) of consumers surveyed feel that they have more protection on purchases made with debit or credit cards as opposed to cash, thanks to the protections provided by the Consumer Credit Act and Chargeback schemes for debit card payments.

As a result, consumers are carrying less cash on them than previously. 57% of people typically carry less than £20 on them, whilst two thirds (67%) have less than £30 at home. Almost half (44%) of people now use less cash than they did three years ago, with only 12% saying that they use more.

Geraldine Wilson, Managing Director of WorldPay Zinc, said: “Consumers carrying less cash in their pockets may not cause an issue for larger high street stores, but it has huge implications for small businesses and sole traders who often collect payment at their customers’ homes or away from a fixed business location.

"Mobile workers need to recognise that consumers are falling out of love with cash and, whether they are a window cleaner, beautician or photographer, they need to be able to offer a range of payment options, even when out and about.

"At a time when many small businesses are struggling to survive, embracing new payment methods and offering customers real choice can have a hugely positive impact, in terms of growing sales, increasing customer loyalty and freeing up time to take on more work.”

The survey found that many small businesses and sole traders are already losing customers, revenue and reputation by not accepting card payments. 87% of consumers said they were more likely to spend more money per transaction when paying with a debit or credit card, as opposed to cash.

One in five (20%) of people surveyed admitted they had abandoned a purchase in the last year, due to the retailer or service provider not accepting card payment. Over half of consumers (54%) find it inconvenient when small businesses don’t accept card payments and 72% of people are left with a negative impression of a business that fails to accept cards.

To help small businesses to meet their customers’ expectations, WorldPay recently announced the launch of WorldPay Zinc; the new pay as you go mobile payment service that enables card payments on the move using a Chip & PIN device and WorldPay Zinc app.

The new service is quick and easy to set-up and users can be up and running, receiving secure payments and reviewing full payment details on the move, usually from as early as the next business day. Payments can either be done in person or over the telephone, providing a convenient solution for both consumers and businesses.

Wilson continued: “As consumers, we’re all familiar with paying for goods using a secure Chip & PIN device in shops. With WorldPay Zinc, mobile businesses can now the same technology on the move, either at events or their customer’s home giving both small businesses and the customer a convenient and secure payment option.

"Consumers’ security and their sense of safety is paramount when making any purchase. This is why we invest so heavily in maintaining the highest possible levels of security, to offer peace of mind to both the consumer and the business.”

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