Welsh town goes cashless as 50 shops given devices for card and mobile payments

A town in North Wales has joined the digital payment revolution thanks to a new initiative from payment technology firm Square, a company that was founded by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey.

In the weeks running up to Christmas, 50 local businesses in Holywell, Flintshire were equipped with free Square Readers which enable them to accept mobile and card payments — many for the first time.

It comes after all but one of the town’s high street banks closed, making access to cash difficult for shoppers and business owners alike.

At a time when shops in many towns are struggling to survive, research shows that over 55% of shoppers in Wales are more likely to shop locally if they know businesses can accept card payments, according to Square.

With the new devices at the point of purchase, shops in Holywell can now accept credit and debit cards as well as payment via smartphone using Apple or Android Pay.


It’s hoped this will provide a boost for the town’s economy as local shoppers can buy goods without the need for physical cash, Deeside.com said.

Last year, figures from payments processor Worldpay highlighted the growing adoption of mobile payment and contactless cards for in-store purchases. In the first half of 2017, spending on all forms of contactless systems accounted for 38% of all non-cash transactions in the UK, with consumers spending a £9bn between January and June, compared to a £10bn in the whole of 2016. Mobile contactless transactions alone topped a £370m — a 336% year-on-year rise in spending.


Welcoming the recent initiative, Holywell Town Council Mayor Joe Johnson said: “By delivering a cashless culture in Holywell, we are taking a positive step forward, a step not taken by any other town in North Wales, to show that we are eager to work with new businesses to secure the heart of our town.”

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