Payments firm Square has published a new report which found a shift in business and consumer behaviour towards digital payments and a decline away from cash. This move is accelerated by safety measures to cope with the pandmeic. It appears that fewer than one in four payments are being made in cash, accounting for around half of pre-Covid levels.
The percentage of remote payments taken by businesses using Square increased from 2 percent in January to 33 percent in April during the peak of the pandemic. As businesses reopen, they continue to process an increased portion of payments over the phone or online without the need for physical contact.
The new report has taken data from thousands of transactions across hundreds of small and medium sized businesses across the UK that used Square’s Point of Sale and payments technology, between January to July 2020. Square found that 31 percent of businesses made the move to being cashless by mid-July from just 8 percent at the start of 2020. This equates to an increase of 288 percent, a trend which shows little sign of abating.
Felipe Chacon, Economist at Square, said in a statement, “Covid has changed the way we pay. Existing trends towards digital and cashless payments and away from cash that have been underway for years have been greatly accelerated as a result of the pandemic. Business owners have had to move fast, quickly adapting to new ways of getting paid. They’ve had to balance keeping themselves and customers safe and feel safe, alongside making every sale they can.”