Almost half of shoppers will leave if card payment is not possible.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of UK shoppers walk out of smaller retailers and independent outlets if they can’t pay by card, according to new research from card machine provider Paymentsense.

A further quarter are also unlikely to return to a store if it didn’t take cards on a former visit.

The study of over 1,000 consumers revealed that, shoppers use their cards to spend just under £135 a month, on average, in smaller retailers, independent restaurants and cafes. With 80 per cent of those surveyed owning a contactless card, a total of over £2 billion of consumer spending could be lost by small businesses which can’t take cards, in the month run up to Christmas.

Shoppers in the capital are even less forgiving, with over half (54 per cent) of Londoners surveyed saying they’d walk out of small businesses offering no card payment option. Those in Manchester were not far behind with a walkout rate of 50 per cent. The survey also revealed that Londoners spend £230 a month in independent outlets, making their high walkout rate even more costly to local retailers.

Guy Moreve, head of marketing at Paymentsense commented: “Contactless card payment is fast becoming the norm, with our research showing that most consumers now use credit and debit cards. Shoppers now expect to use them almost everywhere - both in a traditional or contactless manner.

“As well as the significant revenue loss, our study suggests that smaller retailers and cafes who don’t yet take card or contactless payments, could permanently lose every fourth customer, which would be a particularly difficult blow at this busy time of year,” he added.

Paymentsense survey results

Highest city average SME card spend, per month

London £229.74

Oxford £173.33

Leeds £158.44

Nottingham £151.85

Manchester £136.19

Lowest city average SME card spend, per month

Belfast £59.09

Sheffield £65.53

Cardiff £65.93

Aberdeen £70.59

Glasgow £70.93