Angie Mansfield of Small Business Informer writes that “as of 2010, 78% of consumers owned a credit card, with 60% owning a rewards credit card. Those customers want to use their cards to pay for goods and services; if you\’re not accepting cards, you may be turning away a lot of business.” In fact, Mansfield goes so far as saying that you’re basically “burning money” if you don’t accept credit and debit cards.
She acknowledges, however, the most small business owners who refuse to set up POS terminals feel that the rates for doing so are simply too high. Mansfield affirms something that we blogged about just recently. And that is that the benefits to credit and debit card acceptance far outweigh the costs. The risk of returned cheques is one reason that she points out. There are other factors to consider though.
Businesses that accept credit cards tend to make more money. According to Mansfield, credit and debit card acceptance can help to increase your sales by 30 per cent or more. She also notes that such payment options encourage customers to spend more. Three to four times more, says Mansfield. Thanks to their payment flexibility, credit cards generally allow for bigger purchases.
Some customers will not make big-ticket purchases if they have to use cheques or cash. Writes Mansfield: “The ability to make payments on the card balance, coupled with consumer protection offered by credit card companies, makes your customers much more inclined to spend larger dollar amounts on your goods or services.” This also allows you to upsell your customers when they are paying with plastic.
For sales made on the internet, this issue becomes even more important. In other words, if you expect to sell your products and services online, you have no choice but to accept credit cards. And why wouldn’t you? In this day and age, most consumers head to the internet to browse for their items before visiting stores anyways. Why not make it easier for them to spend money with you?
Accepting credit cards makes sales tracking much easier. Credit card transactions allow you to keep and maintain automatic records of every transaction that your customers make with their cards. Talk about making record keeping easy! Counting up the cash and the change from the register at the end of each work day is a chore that no one truly enjoys. Make it easier on yourself and your staff!
Particularly for small or home-based businesses, accepting cards can give you a more professional and legitimate image. Let’s be completely honest here. Not accepting plastic gives your brand that small-time look. Most people have come to expect that their credit and debit cards are accepted everywhere they go. Don’t give your company the impression that it isn’t up with the times.
Finally, Mansfield encourages business owners to get the word out about their plastic acceptance. And there are several ways to do it, “Place decals and signs in your shop window and near the cash register, advertising the fact that your customers can pay with their credit cards,” she writes, “If your business has a social media presence, that\’s (also) a great way to spread the news.”