The demise of checks in western Europe is set to accelerate over the next few years, with around 60% of retailers no longer accepting them by 2015 as electronic cards and mobile payments gain in popularity, according to research commissioned by Visa. The Center for Retail Research – which surveyed more than 300 retailers in France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK – found the weighted average of retailers in these countries that do not accept checks in 2008 is 20.3%.
Contactless payments could have the biggest impact over the next few years, with phone-enabled payments expected to be accepted by 32.7%, contactless cards by 26.4% and keyfobs or tags by 19.1%.
Asked why mobile payments will be of interest to customers, 73% cite convenience, with 68.1% saying phones are now key pieces of equipment carried everywhere and used for many types of communication.
Steve Perry, executive vice president of Visa Europe says, “The study shows that while changes may occur over a relatively short time period, the ‘Store of the Future’ is likely to be shaped by a range of technologies in the digital era, but all will have a common goal – to create greater convenience for the customer and in turn achieve stronger differentiation and business success for the retailer.”
Retailers will turn to new technologies to attract customers with automated self scanning introduced by around 22% of retailers by 2012-15. RFID tags are likely to be introduced by 34% of retailers to help them make better use of product inventory management and will be used to offer customer promotions, the Web site said.