In Sohail’s fourth column, he looks at preparing for Christmas and the rise of card payments.

It’s been a bit quieter, although business is steady. Last year was up and down at this time of year. It’s easier to plan when it’s steady.

It also gives us a bit of time to think about Christmas and to work out how we’re going to approach it. We’re going to engage with the customers, maybe do a few Christmas raffles.

It helps keep the queues down and gets the customer served a lot quicker.

One thing I have discovered is my PayPoint takes contactless payment. I’d never realised before because nobody has asked to use it. I discovered it almost by accident when I had to manually process something as the machine wasn’t working properly.

I’m really promoting it and I’ve been asking everyone if they want contactless. It really benefits both sides, especially as we don’t get charged for transactions, and it takes less than a minute. It helps keep the queues down and gets the customer served a lot quicker.

Cash is becoming less and less important, while card payments are increasing. It’s even more important now people are spending less, but shopping more frequently. It’s something smaller shops really need to get into and this way we don’t have to charge the customer.