Natwest: Cashfree payments to drive small business recovery for the construction industry
Contactless and card payments will play a significant role in the economic recovery of construction firms in the UK, according to the findings of a survey conducted by NatWest’s payment partner Tyl.
More than a quarter, (29%) of British SMEs in the construction industry have reported that all payments made to their business are already contactless as the sector adjusts to the rapid increase in e-commerce and online transactions, accelerated by the pandemic.
The latest data from Tyl by NatWest in partnership with YouGov revealed that British SMEs working in construction have been quick to adapt the way they do business and their payment systems in response to COVID-19. With 65% of businesses registering for Tyl’s services since the start of UK lockdown adopting card payments for the first time, compared to 37% before, and the pace of this change is only expected to increase.
More than a quarter (27%) of decision makers working in the construction sector agree that being able to accept contactless payments will allow them to operate more successfully after the pandemic. This is likely due to the need to adapt to evolving customer demand for contactless payment options, taking online payment, safety in handling cash and speedier transfer of funds.
Mike Elliff, CEO, Tyl, said: “This latest research clearly demonstrates the role that contactless, mobile and remote payment systems will play in facilitating the economic recovery from COVID-19 for the construction industry. There’s now a huge consumer demand for contactless payment methods, which is driving small businesses to switch their operating models at considerable speed in order to achieve success.
“We hope that by highlighting these challenges we can equip businesses in the sector throughout the UK to capitalise on the demand for contactless payment opportunities.”
Almost one in five 19% of SMEs in the construction sector agreed that their business will lose revenue as a direct consequence if they were not to offer contactless payments due to the pandemic, likely due to consumer concerns around the safety of cash and the shift towards online and mobile payments.
With social distancing also reducing capacity in shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, small businesses can no longer restrict payments to the cash desk. Tyl’s portable terminals grants cashiers the freedom to take payments across the entire venue.
Finally, the survey suggests that decisions to adopt cashfree payment systems extend beyond a desire to meet consumer demand and retain revenue streams. SMEs in the construction sector are concerned about the personal health and wellbeing of their employees with a quarter (24%) stating that they do not feel comfortable with their employees or themselves handling cash during the pandemic.