JAKARTADAILY.ID – UK-based Paysafe's annual 'Lost in Translation' research found that merchants have transitioned into online retail during the pandemic, and contactless payments are becoming more common in the United States.
The report, which was released earlier this month, polled American in-store merchants, restaurants, and other service providers in October 2021. According to the findings, more than half (53 percent) of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) believe that the future of retail will be primarily online.
The online diversification of in-store SMBs anticipates the advent of the pandemic. Nearly half of SMBs with an e-commerce checkout (46 percent) went online before COVID-19, while 35 percent debuted as multichannel enterprises from the start, with an online checkout to supplement their physical store.
However, retailers appear to believe that physical stores will always have a place, with less than one in ten (8 percent) strongly contemplating establishing an online-only firm.
Although contactless payments are on the rise, cash has made a comeback in stores. Almost all SMBs (89 percent) now accept cash payments, with a fifth of these retailers (18 percent) reintroducing cash after briefly discontinuing acceptance during the pandemic. Cash's future appears secure, with 90 percent of SMBs planning to continue accepting cash, 5 percent undecided, and only 5 percent planning to go cashless.
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Meeting consumer demands appears to be the key reason for cash's longevity, with 59 percent of SMBs stating that they aim to offer as many payment methods as possible, and 33 percent stating that their client base comprises cash-dependent unbanked and underbanked Americans.
Afshin Yazdian, CEO of U.S. Acquiring at Paysafe said to The Paypers that the pandemic forever changed Americans' preferences of retail and payment options. In-store retailers and other SMBs seek to attract new customers and retain their existing clientele by “diversifying their payment acceptance to meet consumer demand.”