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Salons scrap card machines in bid to cut out transaction fees

Lisa Collingwood has ditched her card machine in a bid to cut on overheads for her small business.

Some may warn that we are heading towards a cashless society — but two Kirkwall salons are bucking the trend by scrapping their card machines, in a bid to cut down on rising overheads.

Every chip and pin or tap we make adds up to thousands of pounds of fees for small businesses — a cost which either has to be passed on to the customer via price increases, or shouldered by the business itself.

Lisa Collingwood, who runs Blush Beauty in Laing Street, told The Orcadian she was shocked to discover an annual bill of £1,500 for card payments she had taken in her small salon.

Last year, the 34-year-old began quietly encouraging folk to use cash instead — and recently discovered that folk can use the QR code to pay using their mobile phones without attracting fees. Now, as 2024 begins, she has taken the bold step to stop taking cards altogether, and another salon— Image Orkney — has already followed suit.

Read more about why these small businesses have decided to ditch their card machines in this week’s edition of The Orcadian — available in shops from Thursday, and online.