New research provides further evidence that not offering card payments costs businesses customers, revenue and reputation.
1 in 5 customers has abandoned a purchase within the last year because they can’t pay by card. 87% said they are likely to spend more when paying by card. With figures like that it is shocking to think that many of the UKs 4 million small businesses still do not accept cards.
The survey was conducted in April 2013 by independent research agency Loudhouse and consisted of an online survey of 5176 UK customers aged 18+.
- In the last year 20% of UK consumers have abandoned a purchase due to a small business or sole trader not accepting card payments or because they were not carrying enough cash to make a payment
- 54% find it inconvenient when small businesses don’t accept card payments
- 66% of 18-34 year olds find it inconvenient when small businesses don’t accept card payments
- 72% of people are left with a negative impression of a business that doesn’t accept cards
- 28% associate businesses that don’t accept card payments with having poor customer service
- 19% associate businesses that don’t accept card payments with being unprofessional
- 18% associate businesses that don’t accept card payments with being unsuccessful or struggling
- 34% admitted to raiding their children’s piggy bank or coin jar to pay for goods and services at their front door
- 10% admitted hunting down the back of the sofa for some coins to pay for services at the door
It is clear from the survey that offering card payments is a hugely important part of customer service. Small businesses are losing trade, additional sales and causing customers embarrassment rummaging round for change. The majority of customers find it inconvenient paying in cash, particularly younger people.
The good news is inexpensive mobile chip and PIN machines are now available without a contract. They are ideal for mobile businesses such as tradespeople, travelling salesmen, beauty professionals and market traders. You pay £50-£100 for a card reader then pay a small transaction fee of around 2.75% on each sale. The card reader works with an app on your smartphone or tablet to process payments immediately.
The other good news is there is plenty of competition in the UK at present for your business which means there are currently some special offers on card readers. Many come with similar features however it is worth doing a little research as there are differences with some. For instance some companies allow multiple machines to be run from one account and some are available for individuals as well as businesses.