Tired of forming an orderly queue

Posted on: 04/08/2011

It seems that the age-old stereotype that Brits love to queue is finally being reassessed as people are becoming increasingly less inclined to waste their time waiting at a check-out.
Research shows that two-fifths of us refuse to queue for longer than two minutes and 51% of shoppers won’t even enter a store if they spy a queue. Even more revealingly, the survey showed that two-thirds of us have actually walked away from buying something in a shop because we were so fed up with queuing.

With that in mind I thought I would do a little investigation to see how much time could be saved if we used cash rather than cards.

A recent report from the British Retail Consortium has highlighted that the average time taken to process a cash transaction at point of sale is 27.2 seconds, compared to 39.4 seconds for a card payment. That means a card transaction takes nearly 50% longer to process than a cash purchase.

When you think about how long we spend queuing every day, this difference actually translates to a significant amount of time! If we assume a hypothetical queue includes 5 people, and that we queue 10 times on any given day, we would rack up an extra 10 minutes of queuing a day if we all used cards rather than cash! In a year that would amount to 2.5 days and, in an average UK lifetime, a massive six months. That’s six months of life wasted.

Some might think that holding a reputation for patiently queuing is a positive reflection of a population with good manners, but it’s not something any of us really want to test. The results couldn’t be clearer – none of us want to waste our valuable time queuing when there is a simple way to avoid it. Just one more reason, dear readers, why cash is cool.

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