04 May Cards by County: How businesses are embracing card payments in different counties
BOI Payment Acceptance (BOIPA), a leading provider of payment technology solutions, recently surveyed over 2,300 Irish businesses about the current payment landscape as well as business confidence and concerns.
Midland businesses benefitting most from card payments – Likeliest to go fully cashless
With businesses embracing card payments’ ability to simplify administrative tasks, as well as being more cost effective and secure than handling cash, 62% of businesses across Ireland feel it has helped them run their business more efficiently. This is higher in Laois (85%) Leitrim (76%), Kildare and Westmeath (73%) where the vast majority of respondents feel it better supports them run their business than cash. Businesses in Dublin (67%), Monaghan (67%) and Cork (64%) were also ahead of the national average in feeling an increase in card over cash transactions is better for their business.
Longford businesses felt the increase in card payments had limited benefits for their business with only 4 in 10 feeling the benefits – the only county whose percentage came under 50%.
In last year’s business insights survey, BOIPA asked businesses if they believed they would become fully cashless in a decade, with just under half feeling they would transition to a cash-free environment during that time. This year the survey directly asks businesses if they would like to make the switch to a fully cashless environment right now. Nationally, almost a quarter said they would make the switch. Interestingly, this figure was higher in midland counties with Leitrim (43%), Westmeath (33%) and Laois (30%) more likely to make the transition along with Wexford, where 1 in 3 businesses would like to go cash free. Kilkenny and Dublin businesses also bettered the national average at 27%. At the other end, only 1 in 10 businesses in Cavan and Longford would consider accepting card payments only, with Louth (14%) and Kerry (16%) also less likely to stop accepting cash.
Mobile wallet growth continues but business awareness on no transaction limit remains mixed
Payments through phones and wearable devices accounted for c. 10% of transactions, according to Irish businesses in 2021. Now, the majority of respondents say up to 25% of card transactions are made through phones or wearable devices.
Surprisingly, the nation was almost split on their knowledge around the fact that there is no contactless limit on mobile wallets, with over 4 in 10 businesses believing it is capped. Businesses in Kerry and Laois were the least aware of the no transaction limit on phones, given the built-in security features. with almost 6 in 10 merchants believing there was a contactless limit. Kilkenny and Westmeath business owners had the highest rate of awareness according to BOIPA’s survey, with 74% of businesses aware of the no contactless limit on mobile wallets.
Key concerns and business outlook for 2023
Unsurprisingly, business running costs (82%) and inflationary pressures dampening consumer spending (75%) dominated in terms of key concerns for businesses. Businesses in Donegal, Kilkenny and Longford were most concerned with almost all businesses believing running costs may have a negative impact on their business. Staff shortages and Interest rates were other key concerns for businesses. Worries over a return to Covid restrictions and the impacts of Brexit continue to ease with one in 5 businesses now worried about their business impact. The ongoing war in Ukraine was only a featured concern for 17% of businesses.
The majority of business owners remain optimistic about the year ahead with 6 in 10 believing their company could grow this year. Kildare was the most optimistic county, where 68% believed their business might expand this year. Offaly in Carlow business merchants were the most pessimistic overall, where 2 in 10 feared they may close down or have to scale back.