SMEs without innovative payment tech miss out on £1.6 billion

SMEs that do not accept payments using innovative technologies like one-click ordering and digital assistants lost £1.6 billion in sales last year, according to new research.

A study by Barclaycard found that small retailers that do not embrace new forms of payment, which are particularly popular among young people, risk missing out.

It found that invisible and conversational payments, including one-click ordering and digital personal assistants, are now used by nearly half of millennials.

One in four retailers have lost sales when customers could not use emerging payments, and this figure rises to two thirds when contactless payments and mobile devices are included.

But 40 per cent of SME retailers said they are eager to introduce new electronic payment technologies and 61 per cent believe that cash will eventually become redundant.

Accordingly, 38 per cent of small retailers plan to introduce next-generation technology in the future, with 11 per cent admitting they are taking this step as a result of lost custom.

But SME retailers need support and expertise to make this happen. More than a third said they have held off introducing a new method due to a lack of know-how when it comes to setting it up and 38 per cent admit they don’t understand how new payment methods work.

“Our figures show that SMEs are losing sales by not adopting increasingly popular technologies that facilitate invisible and conversational payments,” said Greg Liset, head of small business at Barclaycard.

“While it’s encouraging that many smaller retailers are becoming aware of the importance of these emerging methods, they need to turn this ambition into action to steal a march on the competition and keep up with consumers both now and in the future.

“Making these changes needn’t be complicated or time consuming – with support from their payment provider, SMEs can ensure they have the right solutions for their business while satisfying the ever-growing group of tech-savvy, digitally-minded shoppers.”

For more from the study, see the Barclaycard website.

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