June 20, 2014 - Rachel Miller
More than £7 billion is lost by UK SMEs each year because they don't offer customers a wide enough choice of ways to pay, according to research by Barclaycard.
The research reveals that just 42% of SMEs currently offer customers the option of paying by card, despite the fact that card spending has more than doubled in the past decade. It means that small firms are missing out on up to £7.5 billion per year in the UK as a result.
In spite of the fact that 74% of all retail transactions across the UK are now carried out using debit and credit cards, 58% of SMEs are not currently able to take card payments. Of these, a quarter admitted that this has resulted in lost sales opportunities.
The research shows that SMEs lose out on about one sale per week – with each opportunity worth £182 on average. This amounts to an average of £10,884 of lost revenue for each business over the course of a year.
The research has found that of those businesses that don't take cards, 28% choose not to because they believe this would entail significant cost and 11% think it would be too complicated.
Philip McHugh, CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions, said: "For any business, the challenge is to first secure customers' interest and then to convert the interest into sales. However, our research has shown that many small businesses are falling at the final hurdle and losing customers and vital revenue by not accepting card payments. This is a problem that can be cheaply and easily solved."
Barclaycard has launched Barclaycard Anywhere. It allows businesses to take secure card payments wherever they are using a secure card reader that attaches to a smartphone or tablet and uses chip and PIN technology, with no monthly fees or contract tie-ins.