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SMEs urged to embrace card payments


New research has revealed that an alarming number of UK businesses do not accept card payments and therefore limit their potential earnings quite markedly.



The study shows that almost two-thirds of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not take debit or credit card payments and could be losing out on as much as £800 million in sales every year.



It has been claimed that nearly one in ten firms lost more than £1,800 over the last 12 months simply because they refused to take card payments.



Justifying this stance, some 13 per cent of these firm cited high monthly usage costs, while around ten per cent were dissuaded by the set-up costs of chip and PIN machines.



Neither of these reasons, though, makes economic sense, as the monetary benefits of installing the technology far outweigh the costs involved.



Reflecting on the results of the survey, Narik Patel, director of mobile merchant services at PayPal, said that with fewer consumers carrying a cheque book or cash around with them, businesses are facing an increasingly stiff challenge to ensure that they get paid.



“This means businesses need to offer consumers alternatives, otherwise they risk missing a sale,” he remarked.



“Many small businesses have not offered card payments in the past because they’ve been put off by high fees and long-term contracts. We wanted to create an affordable ‘pay as you go’ option for them.”



The survey furthers the notion that SMEs need to embrace card payment technology in order to compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.



Earlier this year, a study by the Centre for Retail Research said that online payments will soon usurp traditional high street trade.



Indeed, the report noted that high street spending is on the decline, with such deals accounting for 50 per cent in 2000 yet is predicted to drop to 40.2 per cent by next year.

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