In today’s business world, not accepting credit cards and debit cards as methods of payment is a “gutsy move”. At least, this is what Canadian Federation of Independent Business president and chief executive officer, Dan Kelly believes. As quoted by Mark Leger in The Globe and Mail, Kelly notes that small business that don’t accept any form of plastic require “an incredibly loyal clientele”.
By today’s standards, Canadians are pretty much used to being able to pull out their credit cards and debit cards to make payments at just about any establishment. For those die-hard cash-only businesses, this can make things pretty tough. In many cases, they are forced to turn away customers and lose business. Is this really worth avoiding the costs that are associated with plastic acceptance?
The statistics would suggest that it is not. As Leger reveals, “in a 2011 survey of members carried out by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, 95 per cent of businesses in the retail and hospitality sector, for instance, said they accepted credit cards and 93 per cent said they took debit cards. For all businesses, 73 per cent were set up to take credit cards and 59 per cent could handle debit cards.”
Evidently, the majority of Canadian business owners believe that being plastic-friendly is well worth it. On Entrepreneur.com, Gene Marks writes that it’s practically senseless to not accept plastic. “Here’s a fact: many people aren’t carrying cash anymore,” he states, “You will have to accept credit cards, and soon you will have to accept electronic payments.” He goes on to note that not accepting plastic gives a bad impression of your business.
The fact that some merchants are choosing to avoid the fees associated with accepting credit cards and debit cards paints their companies in negative lights. “Don’t try to pretend that we, your customers, don’t know the real reasons why you don’t accept credit cards,” says Marks, “You don’t want to pay the extra fees, right? And you don’t want the tax man to know how much you\’re bringing in, right?”
He goes on to state that, in today’s society, the refusal to let go of the cash-only mentality is bound to lose a company its customers. According to Marks, it doesn’t matter how great your products and services may be, maintaining a stone-age approach to accepting payments from customers is bound to turn people away.
“Remaining cash only may not only cost you new customers, but keeping the ones that you have,” writes Marks, “I may really like the veal parm at the little family joint in South Philly, but I\’m getting tired of the ‘we only accept cash’ sign that hangs in front of the register. There are plenty of other places in South Philly that serve a good veal parm who accept credit cards.”
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