SME retailers without latest payment tech losing £9 billion a year

Small retailers operating without the latest payment technologies could be losing nearly £9 billion a year in lost business, according to a new report from Barclaycard.

The firm’s research found that small businesses without technologies like contactless payments, mobile payments and one-click orders are missing out on £8.7 billion per year.

This is despite the fact that 38 per cent believe their size allows them to be more nimble than their larger competitors when it comes to responding to demands from shoppers.

The small businesses questioned estimated that 12 per cent of transactions are abandoned because their customers cannot pay in the way they want to.

And the problem goes beyond brick-and-mortar shops, as 16 per cent of SME retailers believe they have lost online business in the last year due to a lack of payment tech.

However, the average small retailer has not updated its payment strategy in 16 months, and only 19 per cent have consulted payment providers to discuss their options.

Many SMEs are aware of ongoing changes in payments, with 61 per cent believing that cash will eventually become redundant. In fact, seven per cent have already prepared for this by becoming completely cash-free.

But 34 per cent of SME retailers have held off introducing a new payment method due to a lack of know-how when it comes to setting up the technology and 38 per cent admit that they don’t understand how new payment methods work.

“Payment technology is continuing to evolve at pace, and as our data shows, small businesses who don’t keep up with this rate of change are potentially missing out on both sales and customers,” said Sharon Manikon, managing director of customer solutions at Barclaycard, commenting on the findings.

“But keeping up with shoppers’ expectations needn’t be as costly or complicated as SMEs think. With the right partner, they can easily find a solution that works for both them and their customers. Speaking to payment and technology experts will help SMEs identify the most cost-effective options for their specific needs.

“As consumer demands vary from business to business, it is also important that SMEs seek feedback from their own customers to understand what support and services they see as most valuable, and develop their offering in response.”

For more from the report, see the Barclaycard website.

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