Press releases

UK consumers remain cautious about return to normality for stores and venues

Jun 03, 2021

Figures published by Paysafe signal need for businesses to re-think the consumer experience as 54% of consumers don’t plan to shop in store as frequently post lockdown

London, UK: While the current plan to lift all physical restrictions in the UK on June 21 will hopefully go ahead, bringing a welcome ‘return to normality’ for businesses, research published by leading specialised payments platform Paysafe revealed that 54% of UK consumers say they don’t plan on shopping in stores as frequently as pre-pandemic. With 42% of respondents planning to shop in stores less, and a further 11% to shop online only, offline businesses need to be mindful of new consumer preferences and behaviours and understand how they should adapt for future success.

Paysafe’s Lost in Transaction consumer payment trends research was conducted by Sapio Research and includes survey insights from 1,000 UK consumers on their expected payments and lifestyle habits post-COVID-19*. It signaled that in spite of some excitement about the restrictions soon potentially lifting in full, consumers are still cautious, and many industries will need to make adjustments to encourage customers back to physical locations. 34% of consumers plan to visit bars and restaurants less often than they did before COVID-19, 42% plan to visit nightclubs less, 34% are planning to attend less concerts and sports events after the pandemic and 38% plan to make fewer visits to cinemas and theatres.

In their bid to encourage customers back in person, the research pointed to a number of focus areas for businesses, including the safety of the checkout experience. This is something consumers have paid close attention to during the pandemic, with over two-fifths (44%) of respondents agreeing that it was noticeable which in-store retailers had adjusted their checkout experience and the same number saying they were less likely to shop in stores that hadn’t done so. Checkout speeds also being prioritised by UK consumers, with 38% seeing this as a more important factor to them than pre-COVID. 

According to the findings, another area businesses need to focus on is continuing to diversify their payment options and increase awareness of those already available. Choice remains key: over a quarter (26%) of consumers stated that they will no longer shop in stores that do not offer contactless payments – but another 26% said the same for stores that are no longer accepting cash. When it comes to ecommerce, 34% of UK consumers are now more familiar with alternative online payment methods and 27% are more likely to use a different option to a credit or debit card when making an online purchase.

The research also highlighted a lack of awareness surrounding newer payment methods, with 30% of UK consumers still not knowing enough about in-store QR codes to consider using them as a payment method, and a similar number feeling the same about frictionless checkouts like Amazon Go (26%) and smartphone apps (22%).

Danny Chazonoff, Chief Operating Officer at Paysafe, commented: “As UK restrictions continue to lift and consumers adjust to new freedoms, the climate remains uncertain for businesses and retailers. While there are differing schools of thought on whether we’ll see a resurgence quite on the same level as the Roaring 20s, our research points to consumer behaviour changing for good and business strategies will need to align with these new preferences. Going forward, for businesses to remain competitive, they need to reassess their priorities – two of which will be diversifying payment offerings and maintaining the delivery of a seamless and frictionless checkout.”

For further takeaways from the research, as well as additional analysis, read the full report here:


*About the research

Paysafe’s Lost in Transaction survey was conducted among 8,111 consumers (representative by age and gender) in the US (2,000), UK, Canada, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Italy (all 1,000). The interviews were conducted online by Sapio Research in March - April 2021 using an email invitation and an online survey.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 1.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample. The sample was selected from online partner panels.

About Paysafe Limited

Paysafe Limited (“Paysafe”) (NYSE: PSFE) (PSFE.WS) is a leading specialised payments platform. Its core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallet, and online cash solutions. With over 20 years of online payment experience, an annualised transactional volume of US $92 billion in 2020, and approximately 3,400 employees located in 12+ global locations, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 70 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world. Delivered through an integrated platform, Paysafe solutions are geared toward mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between brick-and-mortar and online payments.  Further information is available at

Contact Details

Anna Howard, Director of Communications, Europe and Asia, Paysafe
Phone: +442038908975