From the UK: Cash and Convenience Do the Tango

I’m always busy, with time as my currency, and I’m always short of it. Kids, home, family and work – they’re all so important – so I’ll go to great lengths to conserve that precious currency, time. Convenience is everything for me, and never more so than when it comes to making everyday purchases. Whether it’s grabbing lunch, buying coffee or picking up groceries, I rely on local convenience stores and the cash machines inside them to access my cash quickly and easily, every day.
Despite the rise of digital and contactless payment methods, which I do use occasionally, I still favour cash for my everyday purchases. And according to “The Value of Cash” market research, commissioned by Cardtronics UK and conducted by Populus, I’m not alone! [Editor’s note: Contactless payments involve passing or tapping a radio frequency chip-enabled card or smart phone over a special terminal to perform the purchase transaction. UK contactless payments are limited to £30 (USD 43.74) per transaction.] 
Infographic for a quick snapshot of 'The Value of Cash' research findings
In fact, the research found that over half (58 percent) of those who use an ATM consider it to be the main reason for their store visit, and over 90 percent of these consumers use a cash machine inside a store at least once a week. What’s more, consumers actually spend their cash in the local community, thereby benefiting the area’s economy.
The personal and diverse range of services that local shops offer – groceries, mail services, and banking services all in one place – keeps me connected to my local high street and convenience store. As an increasingly time-poor person, this connection is crucial to me, with cash access a central part. Speedy access to cash is not only my saving grace; it’s hugely important for the retailers. The research shows that ATMs boost footfall, loyalty and in-store sales. Moreover, spending in a convenience store is largely driven by cash access, with 90 percent of payments in local shops being made with cash. [Editor’s note: The “high street” is the central business and shopping district in UK towns and cities.]
According to “The Value of Cash” research, cash withdrawn from ATMs in local shops is far more frequently than not pumped back into local high streets and communities, with nearly 8 in 10 people (77 percent) spending newly withdrawn cash in the store.
In addition, shoppers who withdraw money from an ATM in a shop spent 68 pence (USD .99) more in store than the average consumer, presenting the opportunity for a boost to local economies by simply offering the additional service in-store. Even further, those who withdraw money to spend in-store spent an average of £13.09 (USD 19.01) on site. 
Local retailers with ATMs on-site also benefit from increased footfall as well as repeat visits: consumers who use the cash point or ATM in their local shop are the most loyal, with 80 percent visiting the shop at least once a week. Additionally, over half (53 percent) said they wouldn’t visit the same local shop if the cash machine was removed, putting local retailers at risk of losing up to £11.49 (USD 16.75) per customer – the average in-store spend of customers who wouldn’t visit the store that lacked an ATM. 
It’s clear that cash is still the go-to payment method for consumers for everyday purchases, so it’s more important than ever that these shops – of which there are 50,000 in the UK – continue to provide reliable access to cash at the heart of their communities, while they simultaneously enable their local economy to thrive.
Check out our infographic for a quick snapshot of “The Value of Cash” research findings.
Claire Flawn
Head of Marketing
Cardtronics Europe | Cashzone

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