By Karen Peattie

RESEARCH by Royal Bank’s payment provider, Tyl, reveals that while 83 per cent of Scottish consumers agree they have "great appreciation" for staff working in local businesses as a result of Covis-19, fewer than one in five (18%) expect to do Christmas shopping in independent stores.

Tyl’s research examining UK consumer purchase intentions this Christmas also found that more than one-third (37%) have cancelled plans to spend money eating or drinking at local, independent businesses since the outbreak of Covid-19.

Mike Elliff, chief executive of Tyl, said the research “clearly demonstrates that now, more than ever, people across Scotland have an appreciation for those working in their local cafes, pubs and shops”.

He added: “Covid-19 has had a substantial impact on small businesses, many of whom have been forced to close or operate with reduced hours. Through contactless and telephony payments and the facilitation of e-commerce transactions, Tyl, along with the wider payment industry, has a clear role to play in helping the high street and hospitality sector to recover and rebuild for the future.”

This latest data from Tyl, in partnership with YouGov, pointed to e-commerce playing a central role in gift-giving this Christmas with UK high streets operating under lockdown restrictions. More than one-quarter (26%) of those surveyed said they intended to do most of their shopping with online-only businesses while more than two-fifths (44%) anticipated making at least 70% of their Christmas purchases online.

Only 3% estimated that they will do all their Christmas shopping in traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers, suggesting that local independent stores will have to adapt to online demands in order to maximise festive returns.

Donna McArthur, owner of Boveda Hair and Beauty in Glasgow, said the Tyl system had been "crucial" in helping with effective cash-flow management and meeting social-distancing guidelines ahead of reopening after the first lockdown. “We use all the Tyl platforms to meet shifting customer demands, taking payments via contactless, over the phone and via our website,” she said.

Ms McArthur, whose business is located in former Royal Bank premises, added that she was also “saving upwards of 50% from my previous provider”.

Launched in the summer, Tyl is designed to make it easier for small business customers to receive contactless payments in-store, online and over the phone using a mobile terminal, and maintain cash flow during Covid-19 and in the future.