Calls for SMEs to ‘go cashless’

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are facing mounting pressure to ‘go cashless’ and adopt new payments technology in order to keep up to speed with consumer trends.

Earlier this week, a report in The Telegraph revealed that many small businesses are living in fear of adopting modern payments technology, such as contactless card payments and Apple Pay, amid concerns that the transition could prove costly and complicated.

However, a new study suggests that offering alternative payment options to consumers could be crucial to business survival in the digital age.

According to a survey carried out by card payments provider Square UK, just under half of SMEs are not set-up to accept debit and credit card transactions.

This is despite the fact that the vast majority (81 per cent) of consumers would shop locally more often if small businesses provided these services – suggesting that ‘cash only’ SMEs could be missing out on an awful lot of business.

Prominent broadcaster and retail expert Claire Bailey told The Telegraph that the demand for card payment services was undeniable.

“Last year and for the first time, more than half of all purchases in the UK were made by card, so any small company that wants to succeed must offer its customers as many options to pay as possible,” she said.

She added that there were numerous other benefits to going cashless, too.

“You save time in not having to ring up a till and take money to the bank, which means greater security and reduces staff theft,” she said.

“Digital payment systems have other useful add-ons, including electronic receipts so that customer details are online and can be used for further promotion and marketing,” she added.