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Established 1996
Wednesday 13 November 2019


Payments Awards 2019

Rise in foreign currency payments ahead of Brexit

Written by Hannah McGrath

Customers at 250 of the UK’s top retailers are increasingly turning to foreign currency to pay for their items, with a 19 per cent increase in the number of brands offering the option of payment in currencies including Euros, US dollar and Yen.

Analysis of currency options carried out by e-commerce and digital agency Visualsoft, also found an increase in the use of digital payment tools such as digital wallets and in-app products, as shoppers increasingly shop online.

The report found that 81 per cent of the 250 retailers surveyed were offering customers the option to pay in non-sterling alternatives throughout the course of 2018, marking a 19 per cent increase in foreign currency payment options as the UK prepares the leave the EU.

The majority of retailers were offering the change to pay in Euros and US Dollar, while one per cent of UK-based retailers were offering the chance to pay in Yen, in a bid to capture more of the Chinese e-commerce market.

Visualsoft said the increase was likely due to Brexit-related uncertainty, as consumers and retailers prepare for continued sales to the European and international markets beyond the 29 March.

A further one in 10 of retailers offered alternative payment products from lenders such as Klarna – up from almost nothing in 2017 as consumers begin to adopt retail finance options. It found that around three-quarters (78 per cent) of consumers would consider purchasing through retail finance, with the average spend of £620.

Dale Higginbottom, head of conversion rate optimisation at Visualsoft, said these figures suggest proactivity in the lead-up to Brexit and adoption of new payment trends.

“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 per cent neglecting an offer outside of traditional cards - this inability to get the basics right could prove crucial as we move into 2019.”

Retail Payments Survey

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