You fancy a tasty morning coffee, but you don’t have any cash to hand. Thanks to the declining numbers of ATMs in Europe, it’s unlikely you’ll find somewhere to get hold of any notes. You’re an advocate for independent businesses, so you choose the hip local barista. But unfortunately, they only take cash. This forces you back through the automatic doors of a chain brand, where card and mobile payments are welcomed. Your cappuccino is fine, but it’s nothing special.
This is a common story. More and more people around the world are proud to shop independent, with a recent UK survey suggesting that a huge 80% of consumers prefer independent businesses over larger stores. But as we’ve all experienced, this isn’t always convenient. One reason is that smaller businesses can lag behind in terms of payment options, which significantly impacts customer experience.
Across Europe, payment preferences are fragmented. Cash is still king in some regions, and more advanced technology such as digital wallets, contactless cards, and mobile apps are popular in others. As a small independent business, you need to cater for as many payment methods as possible – but it must make sense practically and financially!
Lots of research has highlighted the different rates of cashless uptake between younger and older generations. Indeed, younger folk are most likely to use contactless cards, digital wallets, and mobile apps. This revolution is led by the young, which is only natural. But it’s not exclusively “Generation Y” or “Generation Z” who are using less cash…
According to research conducted in Belgium, 77% of 18 to 34 year-old Belgians don’t carry cash anymore. The number is 67% in 35 to 55 year-olds, and 64% in 56+ year-olds. All things considered, this gap of 10-13% isn’t very big. In total, two-thirds of Belgians carry little or no cash.
Whilst the shift away from cash is cross-generational, the technology used in cashless transactions differs. Chip-and-pin bank cards are well-established, and contactless (NFC) bank card transactions expanded on this basis. But the younger generations have grown up attached to their mobile devices, 24/7. Mobile payments are extremely popular in this demographic, and it’s becoming more important for small independent businesses to cater for this need.
Younger generations are using their NFC smartphones to pay with digital wallet apps, like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. The process of paying with a device has become second-nature, and as smartphones continue to flood the market, this will become the new normal.
SMEs and independent merchants must be able to accept mobile payments, but the wealth of choice can be confusing. Luckily, there is an easy way: QR payments! In China, Alipay and WeChat Pay use QRs and are both very popular among consumers in their 20s and 30s. In Europe and the US, this method has been largely limited to peer-to-peer. But that is changing.
How can you go cashless with minimum fuss?
As a small business, you want to continue your growth in this challenging payments landscape. It can be daunting to move beyond cash, but we’re here to help!
We’re proud to release CCV Tap & Go (BE). This mobile app is for small business owners to welcome more cashless customers. As a merchant, you can quickly and easily accept QR payments using your own personal or business smartphone. The CCV Tap & Go app links with your MyCCV environment, providing great visibility over transaction data.
CCV’s Tap & Go app is free to download and install. Yes. Free! As a merchant, you only pay a small cost per transaction. Put simply, you only pay for what you use. This removes all initial barriers, and allows merchants to start taking mobile payments in a matter of minutes.
As long as you have a connection, you can take a QR payment; which is also perfect for travelling traders, temporary events, and pop-up stores. If you’re taking an online business into the offline world, this is very useful. Importantly, it also meets the latest security requirements. Even if you just need a backup incase of terminal or till failure, Tap & Go is a superb option.
Nearly everyone in Belgium has the popular Payconiq by Bancontact app, or they use their banking app instead. Your customers won’t need to do anything extra; just pay via their in-built QR scanner. Whilst many apps support QR payments for private individuals, CCV Tap & Go ensures you can apply this within your business.
Here are five key reasons why you should consider CCV Tap & Go:
- Don’t miss out on the smartphone generation
- You cut down on long queues through quick payments
- No need to make big investments; just use your own smartphone
- Take payments on-the-go, wherever you are
- Stay environmentally-friendly by using e-receipts
Generation Z will make up 40% of all consumers by 2020. They’ve been surrounded by fast-paced technology and personal devices since the day of their birth, and they will continue to lead the way when it comes to future payment methods. As this Pew Trusts study tells us:
“About 90 percent of millennials and 83 percent of Gen Xers own smartphones, and individuals in these generations constitute the majority (72 percent) of mobile payments users.”
Customers will have a varied mix of preferences for some time to come, but the reliance on cash is certainly diminishing. When the younger generations emerge as the main consumer force, mobile payment in its various forms will become the new normal. You need to stay ahead.
As an independent merchant, you can capitalise on this trend. The CCV Tap & Go app offers simple QR payments via mobile devices. It’s easy to get started, and you can download it for free today. For more information and advice, please contact CCV.