The rise in card fees has come about following the UK’s departure from the EU, which ended a long-standing regulation that previously capped the fees that card issuers could charge. This has resulted in card issuer fees being increased by a staggering £150 million a year, which has hit both the UK and European retail, leisure, and hospitality industries hard.
Smaller independent businesses are struggling with this increase and the fees problem will only continue to get worse because not only are they being charged more for card terminals than bigger corporations, but after misinformation about using cash became rife (now completely disproven by WHO), cards became more prevalent during the pandemic.
Retailers will now be paying more because swipe fees are being collected on more transactions, which will also drive-up prices for their customers too. Also facing retailers are additional rising card payment-related costs, including card fraud, fraud protection, regulatory compliance, breaches of data and breakdowns and outages.
Mike Severs, Sales & Marketing Director at Volumatic, said: “Retailers and other businesses can fight back against these rising card payment costs by encouraging and promoting cash payments again. In a poll amongst some of the UK’s leading retailers including Tesco, Card Factory and The Co-op Food Group, who attended our recent Cash 2030 conference, all retailers we asked said they happily accept cash, but only 38% of those stores promote cash usage, whereas 81% of stores promote card payments, which now effectively costs them more money.”
Retailers attending the Volumatic Cash 2030 conference event also confirmed that the decline of cash usage during the pandemic is seeing major signs of recovery as of early 2022, and that millions of consumers still want to make purchases using cash, which means businesses should be supporting this – and in doing so can help themselves reduce rising card fees in the process.
“One of the big advantages of cash is that it doesn’t come with sky-high issuer fees and multiple other charges, unlike card payments. Cash can be seen as a burden for some businesses, eating up time, money, and staff hours to get everything processed at the end of the day, but there are cash handling solutions that can reduce daily cash processing costs by up to 75%,” added Severs.
Volumatic’s award-winning CCi is the trusted solution for simple, one-touch cash handling across the globe with over 40,000 currently in operation for businesses such as Tesco, Morrisons, Wilko, The Co-op Food Group, McDonalds, and Subway.
Essentially, the CCi acts as a money counter, secure cash storage and forgery detector all in one compact unit, positioned at the point-of-sale, and it securely stores cash in tamper-proof pouches so that banknotes cannot be touched. The CCi streamlines cash handling processes, offering both operational efficiencies and cost savings whilst reducing shrink and keeping employees safer.
It works intelligently with CashView Enterprise – a web-based reporting and monitoring management tool that enables the user to access their CCi devices via the cloud 24/7. It offers multiple configurable reports and gives total visibility and control of all cash transactions across an entire business. The CCi can also be integrated with any EPOS system or cash reconciliation software platform, making it perfect for any business that handles cash.
Severs concluded: “Cash has had a raw deal considering the pandemic, but it’s coming back stronger and is still very much in favour with millions of people across the UK. Businesses need to embrace cash again and invest in cash handling solutions like the CCi that help them process cash efficiently and show the card issuers that they don’t rule the roost when it comes to payment choice.”
And if all these benefits aren’t enough, Volumatic’s range of security enhancements for the CCi provide additional overnight security with a choice of the CCi security enclosures including the CCi Floor Mounted enclosure, meaning business owners can leave cash securely overnight, reducing cash-in-transit fees too.
While card payments are most definitely here to stay, and remain the most popular payment method amongst consumers, cash is still a valid payment choice, with over 23 million regular cash users in the UK (Enryo data – Dec 2021). This means that cash, when processed the Volumatic way, can play a big part in reducing the massive costs of unregulated card fees that the retail, hospitality and leisure industries are sure to face for years to come, and therefore should not be considered a secondary payment choice.