Global payments technology company, Visa has revealed the results of an independent merchant study examining perceptions of small UAE retailers on the use and impact of digital payments (card and mobile) on their business. The survey targeted two groups of retailers – those who accept digital payments and those who only accept cash payments.
The survey reveals that among small retailers currently accepting digital payment methods, 56% of them have a contactless POS (point of sale) machine and 77% of them are inclined to invest in new payment technologies in the near future. Seventy percent (70%) of the retailers were satisfied with digital payments driven by two top factors – they prevent fraudulent purchases and offer an easy and convenient way for consumers to pay.
According to the retailers surveyed, digital payments help mitigate challenges related to accepting only cash payments. These cash-associated challenges include possibility of theft from employees; higher risk of error; and more complex accounting process. Eighty-three percent (83%) of the retailers who accept digital payments are likely to recommend them to other businesses that currently only accept payments in cash.
When discussing the impact digital payments have had on their business, 63% of the retailers claimed that the traffic in their store increased and 68% claimed their revenue improved since they started accepting digital payments. The overall perception of these retailers is that digital payments are convenient for customers and speed up payment processing and transactions.
“Acceptance of digital payments clearly benefits small retailers as evident by the survey findings. Not only are they more secure, quicker and more convenient than cash, digital payments provide a data trail – something cash doesn’t do – that can help merchants better communicate and target offers to customers and offer loyalty programs, and enhance overall customer experience, to name a few, which help improve profitability,” said Marcello Baricordi, Visa’s general manager for MENA. “Considering the UAE’s demographics, a high proportion of consumers are digitally savvy and hence they increasingly expect frictionless and secure payment experiences, which is also something only digital payments can offer. And for a retail business understanding customer experience is everything and the edge they need to be more competitive to generate business.”
Among small retailers who accept only cash payments, 50% of them intend to invest in new payment technologies. Among cash-only retailers, 46% have admitted to losing a transaction because of customers not carrying cash at the time of purchase. Around 50% anticipate that the traffic is likely to increase in their store and 46% expect their revenue to increase once they start accepting digital payments.
“In light of the UAE’s goal to become a cashless society by 2020, we want to encourage and support small retailers in every possible way in their migration from cash to digital payments and enable them to deliver the best outcomes for their customers and guarantee continued growth of their business,” added Baricordi.