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Retailers offer more international currency options as they gear up for Brexit

Lauretta Roberts
11 February 2019

An analysis of 250 leading UK retailers has shown a 19% increase in the number offering international currency payment options in the past year, which is being attributed to Brexit preparation.

The figure forms part of an annual performance index carried out by leading e-commerce and digital agency, Visualsoft. The report examined the sector’s biggest names and found that 81% of these retailers are offering customers the option to pay in non-sterling alternatives.

This figure represents an increase on the 62% of retailers that offered international payments in 2017. The majority of these international currencies are Euros and USD, with 1% of retailers offering Yen.

The study also found that more and more retailers are offering innovative new payment options. Amazon Pay for instance is already being used by 10% of top retailers, while services such as those offered by the likes of Klarna (which enables buy now, pay later and payment by instalments) are now offered by one in 10 retailers, which is up from pretty much zero the year before.

Research from Duologi suggests that almost three quarters of consumers would consider purchasing through retail finance, with the average spend of £620, so offering this type of payment could prove to be a fundamental avenue for future growth.

However, this adoption of new payment types appeared to be having a detrimental impact on basic payment methods, Visualsoft said. A quarter or retailers (23%) fail to offer a payment choice other than a mainstream credit or debit card. This has worsened by 4% year-on-year. Failure to offer a range of payment choices can lead to a higher level of abandoned baskets.

“These figures suggest proactivity in the lead-up to Brexit and adoption of new payment trends, which is great to see. However, we know that up to a quarter of consumers also abandon their transactions at checkout because the retailer doesn’t provide their payment method of choice," said Dale Higginbottom, head of CRO at Visualsoft.

"Offering a wide range of options is an important way for retailers to maximise their sales potential, but too many are still not doing so – with 23% neglecting an offer outside of traditional cards. This inability to get the basics right could prove crucial as we move into 2019,” Higginbottom added.

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