Home Business NewsBusiness SMEs without card facilities 'risk losing customers'

SMEs without card facilities 'risk losing customers'

by LLB Editor
19th Mar 12 3:56 pm

Small businesses in London which do not accept card payments could be losing trade from modern consumers who prefer not to carry much cash, a survey has found.

More than a third (34 per cent) of Londoners said they had been inconvenienced by a retailer that does not accept cards in the past 12 months, according to YouGov’s poll for small business payments firm CardSave.

One in five people in the capital said they had left a shop without making their intended purchase in the past year because the retailer did not take cards, while 25 per cent said they had been forced to seek a cashpoint to complete a transaction. Some eight per cent of customers said they had spent less than they planned after finding a retailer only accepted cash.

CardSave chief executive Clive Kahn said: “Perhaps more than anywhere else, people in the capital expect to be able to pay by cards wherever they go. They are used to paying with plastic and get frustrated when a service provider doesn’t take cards.”

He continued: “Our sales figures suggest that London SMEs have been early adopters in card payments technology, from card terminals to online payments solutions. They’ve learned quickly that taking card payments is easy and affordable, and not being able to sell on card damages their competitiveness.”

Some 59 per cent of Londoners said they now carry around £20 or less in their wallet or purse, while around a third claimed they had less than £10 on them. However, SMEs which do accept cards are able to serve the 89 per cent of people in the capital who carry a credit or debit card.

Kahn added: “SMEs that don’t currently take card payments are missing out. People just don’t carry as much cash as they used to. Feedback from our own retail clients is that business improves significantly when they give their customers the option of paying by card. They are able to attract more customers, who aren’t limited on what they spend by the cash in their pockets. They are also more likely to make impulse purchases.”

The average transaction at small, independent merchants in February was £64.27, according to CardSave’s Small Business Payments Index.

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