SumUp reveals the UK optimism on the state of small business in 2021
By Joy Dumasia
SumUp has revealed the year in review for small businesses and nano merchants in the United Kingdom. Based in London, SumUp has taken a deep-dive into merchant data from across the UK, analysing data from SumUp’s UK-based merchants, and trawled through a year’s worth of transactions to reveal changes in business operations, consumer demand, and general patterns and shifts.
The data shows that of merchants surveyed by SumUp in the UK, almost two thirds (65%) feel positive that their business will grow in 2022. This is around 15% above the average observed at the Pan-EU level. Over half (53%) of merchants have made changes in response to the pandemic. Of those merchants, 56% introduced other payment technologies such as QR codes, mobile payment, payment by link, and a quarter had digitised their business.
In 2021, the UK saw a growth of 4.2% in the number of transactions paid by contactless technology, going from 83.5% in 2020 to 87% in 2021. The UK has the most significant share of contactless transactions compared with France (65%), Italy (71%) and Germany (49%). From a growth perspective, the cities that recorded the most significant increase in contactless payments are Glasgow (6.5%) and Newcastle (5.2%). Newcastle now records the most contactless payments as a percentage of total transactions.
There has been a 40.9% increase in business activity by UK merchants. Manchester (52%) and Bristol (40%) have experienced the most significant growth, by city, throughout 2021 in business activity. Small businesses are increasingly taking lower sums by non-cash mediums as the proportion of transactions between £6-10 increased by 2% in 2021, and transactions above £50 decreased by 5% in 2021.
SumUp Co-Founder Marc-Alexander Christ said: “SumUp has been on the side of UK small business owners for a decade, and we’re proud to support the hard-working strivers that drive the UK economy. Over the past year, we have observed changes in consumer behaviour, and SumUp is providing solutions to these changes through our evolving and expanded product offering and listening to merchant needs.”
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