Small businesses losing one in four customers by not accepting card payments

Survey found more than half of respondents would choose to buy from a business that does accept card over one that does not

Small and mid-sized businesses are pushing almost one in four cardholders out of the door by not accepting card payments, research commissioned by Visa Europe found.

The report, carried out in five European markets suggests failure to adopt card-readers could have a negative impact on and footfall. More than half of those surveyed aged 16-75 (52%) stated they would choose to buy goods from a business that accepts card payments over one that does not.

The research also found that 13% of UK card-holders had chosen not to make a purchase in the 12 months up to August 2014 because there were no card reading facilities, while 12% chose to complete their purchase somewhere that did accept cards.

The issue appears to affect UK based small and mid-sized businesses more than those in Spain or Germany, and is more pronounced for customers between 16-34.

According to the Ipsos MORI research, 34% of consumers in this age range confirmed that not being able to pay by card had led them to not buy a product or service – this is compared to 23% in Germany and 21% in Spain –with 20% buying from a competitor instead.

In fact 64% said paying by card was preferable for products and services between £21 and £100, which increased to 77% for transactions of £100 or greater – suggesting consumers want the security and convenience that card payments afford when paying for higher value goods.

Caroline Drolet, head of merchant solutions at Visa Europe commented: “There is a significant opportunity for small businesses to make a substantial increase in their business volume by integrating card payments into their operations.

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“The alternative appears to be an increasing risk of a loss of business as more customers want to pay by card for transactions large and small.”


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