Continuing this upward trend remains a key priority for Government with the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement released this month focused on boosting SME lending and growth, in addition to its Home Business initiative, aimed at making it easier for budding entrepreneurs to start their own businesses from home. The reality of the situation, however, is that many start-ups and small businesses lose out simply by not offering one of the most basic payment options – credit and debit card payments. The risk of not offering card payments could cost you thousands of pounds in revenue each year – especially if you’re a mobile business. This sort of money can easily make or break a new start-up. Our own research shows that one in six customers will walk away from a sale if they can’t make a purchase with a card, and in the UK, three quarters of all retail transactions are carried out in this way. Yet worryingly, three in five SMEs currently don’t accept card payments. This is despite the fact that many mobile point of sale solutions are simple and easy to use, flexible and reliable. Payment technology is constantly evolving, with contactless payments in particular, fast-becoming a major force in high street payments. Looking to the future, all eyes are firmly on wearable devices and the added benefits they can bring to both consumers and retailers. But let’s be clear. One new payment method doesn’t replace another. And the most important thing is to offer customers choice – helping make their everyday lives easier. This is an important principle regardless of the size of business you manage, but as a start-up getting the basics right and understanding how your customers want to pay will make all the difference between whether or not your business survives and thrives for the long-term. Philip McHugh is CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions.
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