UK small businesses and medium sized businesses (SMEs) that do not offer a debit or credit card payment facility are losing out on approximately GBP7bn annually according to Barclaycard, which launched its new secure cost-effective mobile point of sale solution, Barclaycard Anywhere, on Tuesday.
Barclaycard is part of Barclays Bank PLC and is a global payment business that helps consumers, retailers and businesses to make and take payments flexibly, as well as providing access to short-term credit and point of sale finance. Barclaycard currently has 35.5m customers and 374,200 clients. The company processed at total of GBP254bn in payments during 2013.
The company said Opinium Research carried out an online survey of 512 SME owners and decision makers during the last week of May this year and found that just 42% of SMEs currently offer customers the option of paying by card, despite card spending more than doubling in the last ten years. The respondents to the survey were divided approximately evenly between sole traders, micro businesses, small businesses and medium sized businesses, with 296 reporting that they did not accept credit or debit cards as payment. Of those respondents, 72 said situations sometimes occurred whereby a customer was unable to carry out a transaction because the company didn’t offer a card payment facility.
Figures from the research show that almost three quarters of all retail transactions in the UK are currently made using debit or credit cards. However three in five SMEs are not able to take card payments and a quarter of these firms admit this has resulted in lost sales opportunities. On average one sale worth approximately GBP182 is lost each week, which can mount up to around GBP10,884 in lost revenue for each business over the course of a year.
Of the 58% of SMEs that don’t accept card payments, 28% said they chose not to offer a card paying facility because they thought it would entail significant cost, while 11% believe it to be too complicated and wouldn’t know how to go about offering card payments.
To address these concerns, Barclaycard’s new mobile point of sale solution enables retail businesses to take secure card payments anywhere. There are no monthly fees or contract tie-ins for users of Barclaycard Anywhere, which incorporates a secure card reader that attaches to a smartphone or tablet and uses a purpose-built app to accept card payments from any UK location, as long as there is a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. Payments can be made securely with the chip and PIN technology. Barclaycard Anywhere is expected to be especially appealing to start-ups, seasonal traders and mobile businesses.
In addition, Barclaycard Anywhere also has an advanced reporting system which allows users to keep track of transactions via their mobile app or a secure online portal. Businesses can also access crucial information about sales performance and customer buying behaviour, which will be useful to the 62% of SMEs who lose vital information because they don’t currently track customer buying habits, as well as the 20% of firms who usually carry out manual checks.
CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions, Philip McHugh, commented: “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 Anywhere is a simple, low-cost portable solution which will appeal to many SMEs from mobile hairdressers and florists to taxi drivers and plumbers, enabling them to accept secure card payments on the spot, helping ensure they don’t miss out on sales. Having quick and easy access to vital sales information such as payment trends and performance data will also enable time-strapped business owners and staff to quickly learn about their customers’ buying behaviour. The insights they gain will be invaluable in helping them become more successful.”