Wandering into that new shop on your high street, you immediately start browsing their products and enjoy the atmosphere as you explore the place. You pick out some great new items, quickly peruse the opening sale rail, and make your way to the checkout when you’re hit by a sudden realisation – they don’t take card, and you’ve got no cash.

Believe it or not, this isn’t a fleeting experience in modern Britain. With a significant number of small businesses still operating without the benefits of a card machine, many cash-only retailers find themselves labouring with reduced earnings and diminished customer loyalty in comparison to their more tech-smart counterparts.

The fact is that many retailers are still stuck on using cash, and whilst they might have good reasons for this, failing to improve and adapt could leave them out of pocket or worse.

Why do some shops only accept cash?

There are lots of reasons why retail business owners may opt not to accept card payments, but whilst they might appear to make commercial sense, the reality is that often they’re misinformed.

Processing costs

The bottom line is that businesses pay fees to accept card payments. From the costs of their card machine to the per-transaction fee they pay for processing, business owners might feel that by accepting card payments they’re signing away a small portion of their earnings every time they make a sale.

The problem with this is that not accepting card payments could leave you at the mercy of a smaller customer footfall, and modern-day merchant services providers such as UTP Group only charge limited fees that are tailored to meet the needs of the business involved.

Complicated transactions

Another commonly cited reason for not taking card payments is that it can be difficult to find the right payment solution to suit your business. Often, retailers feel that the traditional way is best and that trying to take card payments is like reinventing the wheel.

They want to keep things simple for their staff and customers, but really, complex card payments are a myth. Provided that you have the right merchant services partner to help you along the way, putting the infrastructure in place is all you’ll need to start taking card payments – which could make life easier for you and your clientele.

Cash flow

Small businesses of all kinds frequently list cash flow amongst their top concerns – and so it’s no surprise that many prefer to take their payments in cash. Coins and notes in hand allow businesses to take stock of their assets and to keep on operating.

The problem with this philosophy is that it’s outdated. Business owners understand that cash is available to them immediately but it’s a commonly held misconception that card payments take a long time to process. In today’s commercial world, faster processing has seen payment solutions providers offer same day funding which could see a customer’s money hitting your account within just hours of the transaction being completed.

It’s understandable why businesses are so wary of card payments with processing times having previously stretched across the best part of the week – but that’s simply no longer the case.

How being ‘cash only’ could hurt your business

When customers hear you chant the dreaded “sorry, we don’t take card payments” or spy a “cash only” sign at your till, they don’t think why you might have made this decision – only that it’s a massive inconvenience to them.

Even despite the many rationales for businesses not accepting card payments, modern customers are often wary of parting with their hard-earned cash in establishments that prefer paper. From concerns about tax evasion through to a general movement away from cash-carrying across society, the public want to be able to pay their way and not be limited by an arcane policy that requires them to track down the local cashpoint that in many cases won’t even be around anymore.

With UKFinance reporting over 1.3 billion UK debit and credit card transactions during April 2020 alone, it’s crystal clear that opting not to accept this hugely popular payment method could damage your trading figures. Given that all of these transactions were conducted when the nation was still very much in the grips of a government-mandated lockdown, the sheer volume of card payments stands testament to the preferences of many members of the public who may simply turn their backs on retailers who won’t accept payment in a flexible way.

Card payments, your way

The thing to remember when considering an upgrade to card payments is that it’s not just an added cost to consider, but an investment in your profits and the very way that your business works. Taking contactless payments via a mobile card machine could allow your staff to traverse the shop floor with ease, completing sales anywhere on your premises or even getting out and about with a portable card reader that facilitates on-the-go payments.

When you invest in your payment solutions infrastructure, you’re not just getting a card machine and running with it but committing to the future of your business. As a more convenient end to your sales process, it could attract new customers, inspire loyalty amongst existing clients, and make your life much easier without all of those bank runs.

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