85% of US retailers expect digital currency payments to be ubiquitous in 5 years: Deloitte

An overwhelming majority of U.S. retailers expect digital currency payments to be the norm in the next five years, a new study by Deloitte has found. 85% of the polled retailers revealed they expect to be receiving payments in Bitcoin and other digital currencies in the near future, with three in four predicting this shift will happen within the next two years.

The survey was conducted by the Big Four accounting giant in collaboration with PayPal, a payments company that has recently expanded its digital currency offerings upon receiving the BitLicense. The two polled over 2,000 senior executives at U.S. retail companies spanning fashion, cosmetics, digital goods, food and beverage, leisure, hospitality, electronics, and more. It was conducted in the first two weeks of December last year, back when digital asset prices were still quite high, although the results have just been published.

Deloitte found that 85% of merchants expect digital currency payments to be ubiquitous among suppliers in their respective industries in the next five years. Currently, a third of the respondents say there’s significant interest in Bitcoin payments among their customers, while a third say there’s moderate interest. Only 2% said there’s minimal interest.

In line with this high interest, 85% of merchants are giving high interest to enabling digital asset payments. 54% of the respondents say they have invested at least $1 million towards enabling these payments.

Deloitte noted that digital currencies are a general term that encompasses both Bitcoin and similar currencies as well as stablecoins and central bank digital currencies. So far, only a handful of countries have launched CBDCs, including Nigeria and The Bahamas, although China is increasingly coming closer to launching its own digital yen.

For businesses, the motivation to adopt any technology is always to get ahead in the marketplace, and digital currencies are no different. Deloitte found that the biggest motivation is to get a competitive edge in the market at 87%, with 83% claiming that they expect digital currencies to be legal tender in 10 years. 48% believe they can improve the customer experience, while 40% say the integration will lead to the brand being perceived as cutting edge.

“This survey shows that merchants view acceptance of digital currencies—driven by consumer acceptance and demand—as key to driving business, and those that are slow to adopt run the risk of falling significantly behind,” Deloitte’s Zachary Aron stated, commenting on the survey.

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