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Cash is dead – long live the card


If you want to grow your business and retain customers, having a streamlined payments system is key. Here’s how you can pick the best fit for your business.

Do you find it annoying when a retailer only accepts cash, or charges you to use your card? If so, you’re not alone. That’s why it’s so important to offer your customers a range of fair, easy-to-use payment options that don’t stop them coming back.

Up to 25% of people are more likely to reach for a card than cash, so adopting a digital payment system could boost your sales by 15%. It also makes mobile payments much easier. You can wirelessly connect from wherever you are, whether that’s a market stall, a home office or your own shop.

"heading heading--3"Benefits of adopting digital payments
  • It improves the customer experience by making payment quick and easy
  • It enhances security with smartphone technologies
  • You can compete with Amazon’s 1-click easy payment system
  • It reduces the cost of fraudulent transactions

Make sure you never miss a sales opportunity with this guide. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to plan, select and explore digital payment options that fit your business.

First, select a supplier who makes it simple for you to adopt a new payment method. Look out for a telecoms provider that offers the following:

  • Online training and customer support to increase digital skills
  • A flexible business data plan and broadband with excellent 4G coverage
  • Free e-commerce templates with a 1-click option or payment button
  • Built-in security to reduce fraud
  • A payment terminal with Near Field Communication (NFC) Point of Service (POS)
  • No set up fee where possible
  • A fair charge when customer payment is received (some providers charge a lot more per transaction than others)

Most businesses will need to take face-to-face payments using a card reader. There are plenty of options out there – here are some of the most popular:

PayPal Here

  • Takes card and contactless payments inc. Apple Pay and Android Pay
  • No monthly fees
  • Payment within seconds
  • £45 for the card reader – costs from 2.75% a transaction


  • Cash advances with fixed fee and flexible repayments
  • Sales reports
  • £29 for the card reader – costing from 1% a transaction


  • Accept Chip and PIN card payments in-store or on the move with a standalone PDQ machine
  • Processes all major debit and credit cards
  • Reader and fees from just £13 a month

FSB Card Payment Processing

  • Takes card and contactless payments including Apple Pay
  • Uses trusted payments provider, Worldpay
  • Pay by Link serves customers in seconds

Smartphone technologies

These technologies make customers’ lives easier – could incorporating them into your business bring you a quick win?


  • Account-to-Account (A2A) technology allows you to pay or receive money just using a mobile number
  • Used by major banks to offer Faster Payments System of up to £250 a day

Digital Wallets

  • Allows purchases online or by smartphone (81% of the UK owns a smartphone)
  • Requires Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled POS terminal
  • • Adoption of this technology is highest between the ages of 18 and 34.

Apple Pay®

  • Super secure – tokenisation of card numbers, touch ID and on-device storage
  • Apple takes responsibility for fraud instead of the merchant
  • Requires Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled POS terminal

Android Pay™

  • Customers pay with cards stored and launched in an app
  • Requires Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled POS terminal
  • Can take payment in person or digitally

Don’t forget wearables – they can do many of the same things as smartphones, including contactless payments.


  • Contactless ‘loops’ make watches hands-free and card-free payment devices
  • Same security and fraud prevention as credit, debit and contactless
  • Payments up to £30

Compatibility with these widely-used platforms could be a game-changer for your business, enabling customers to complete purchase journeys quickly, efficiently and much more painlessly.

ImpulsePay and Billmobile 

  • Buy online and charge up to £30 to your mobile bill
  • Supported by all UK mobile networks
  • Includes pre-set payment screens


  • Accepts debit, credit and PayPal payments
  • There’s no monthly charge – just a small fee on each payment
  • Built-in advanced fraud protection
  • Easy mobile payment


  • The same benefits, plus the ability to manage your inventory, loyalty programs and customer flow

Sage™ Pay Invoice Payments 

  • Makes it easier for customers to pay invoices
  • Can be used online or over the phone
  • 24/7 support
  • Works with Sage Accounts software

Sage™ Pay Online Payments 

  • Integrates with existing payment pages
  • Available from £19.99 p/m
  • Comes with built-in security

FSB Card Payment Processing 

  • No set-up fee
  • Includes Mobile Card Payment Terminals
  • Gives you access to a business dashboard

Digital payment training

Finally, it’s no good having a digital payment solution unless you know how to integrate it well and use it properly. Once you have chosen your preferred method make sure both you and your employees spend some time learning how to run your digital payment solution correctly. Do it right, and you’ll create a more effective, streamlined, and painless  experience – taking your business from strength to strength.

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