Retail Payments: What the future holds for the UK

Retail payments

The UK is leading the way when it comes to innovation surrounding retail payments. With new and emerging payment options and technologies becoming available rapidly, there’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to the future of shopping in the UK. If you’re wondering what the next few years have in store for this part of the world, here are some trends that you can look forward to.

The rise of alternative payments

Alternative payment methods are on the rise in Europe, and they could change the way you shop online. Europe is expected to see an upswing in alternative payments in the next four years. By 2026, eCommerce payments made with cards, which currently account for 41% of online transactions, will fall to 33%.

Instant payments and crypto currencies are popping up all over the place, but so far, they have yet to see widespread adoption. That could change as these payment methods get more and more traction, especially among millennials and Gen-Z users, who are less tied to traditional banking models. To appeal to a younger generation of shoppers, many merchants are already incorporating these new forms of payment into their businesses.

Embedded finance at the checkout

Embedded finance is an emerging trend that sees financial services integrated into other products and services. Buy now pay later (BNPL) schemes are just one example of the growing trend of embedded finance.

With BNPL embedded finance, you can pay for a product or service by splitting it into instalments over time without incurring any interest or fees. Almost four in ten (37%) Brits have used a BNPL service. The findings also reveal that BNPL is most popular amongst millennials, with 54% using this payment method.

The convenience of pay-later shopping is the main draw for people who use this payment method. More than nine million British shoppers said they are willing to forego an online retailer or website that doesn’t offer BNPL options at the checkout. This research highlights the importance of retailers investing in embedded finance solutions that add value for consumers by making it easier for them to manage their finances.

Inventing an in-store experience

We’re seeing more and more retailers creating flagship stores designed to be a destination for customers rather than just a place to pick up goods.  Burberry, a luxury fashion house, is a perfect example of this. They’ve created a space that focuses on creating an experience that goes beyond simply buying clothes. Here, customers can visit the Burberry Café or attend music performances, creating an immersive experience that makes them feel like part of the world of Burberry. Other retailers that have successfully reinvented their in-store experience include Sports DirectCoca-Cola, and Greggs with their giant steak bake pulling in the crowds. This kind of reinvention of the traditional store concept is becoming more and more popular among retailers.


There are many ways the payments industry is changing, and we’ve only touched on a few of them here. Forms such as embedded finance and alternative payments might not seem like a huge deal now, but the rise in their popularity does mean that consumers will become more comfortable with them in the future. Ultimately, this will be good for retailers and consumers in general.

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