Digital payments replacing cash

Digital payments replacing cash

All change as consumers turn to non-cash alternatives

Cash is fast becoming a thing of the past, the US National Retail Federation (NRF) claimed today.

US holiday spending is expected to top $470bn this year, and the NRF predicts that more than 70 per cent of shoppers will primarily use electronic payments for Christmas purchases.

Consumers derive many benefits from non-cash payments, such as increased security, but merchants also enjoy significant advantages, such as increased sales at the till, faster payment and greater fraud protection.

The NRF anticipates that merchants realise almost half of their annual profits and sales in November and December.

"In this hectic shopping season the benefits offered by e-payments allow consumers to shop and merchants to sell with the confidence that they are protected," said Peter Madigan, executive director of the Electronic Payments Coalition.

The increasing popularity of online shopping means that secure payment is of paramount importance to consumers and merchants who use the internet for holiday shopping activities.

The US Online Holiday Forecast for 2007 from Jupiter Research suggests that online retail sales this Christmas will increase by 20 per cent compared with 2006.

"Merchants and consumers alike share the need for convenience and security during this busy shopping season. The use of debit and credit card payments offers tremendous benefit to everyone involved," said Madigan.