Are small businesses missing out on credit?

Here, we look at the advent of Point of Sale technology for growing businesses.

There’s been something of a revolution in Point of Sale technology over the last five years. Small shops, sole traders and businesses that are often termed ‘micro-merchants’ have begun to demand similar payments technologies to any website or larger retailer. Fortunately these solutions are readily available and easy to configure.

Setting up things like payment facilities seems to be one of the most daunting aspects of setting up a small business, but it’s actually one of the easiest. Many Point of Sales systems will now happily work on iPads or with your mobile phone, and that’s generally the idea. You certainly won’t be buried under a mass of wires, cash registers and baffling hardware. This lightness of setup is the essence of mobile point of sale.

If you’re new to electronic point of sale you may have a latent fear of security and whether it’s actually safe to capture e-payments, but you’ll find that most of the solutions on offer are PCI compliant, and this is the beauty of modern card acceptance; it’s astoundingly simple.

Companies like iZettle and PayPal offer you a card reader for a set fee – usually somewhere around the £50 mark – and then a fee per transaction.  Transaction fees work on a sliding scale – the more business you do, the less it costs in fees. 

All you need is a merchant account and you’re ready to go (you’re acquiring bank may even lease you a payment terminal so you don’t even have to think about the third parties mentioned above).

A modern business needs to accept card transactions to remain competitive, with some suggesting that British businesses are losing £800 million a year. A YouGov survey quoted here revealed that 62 per cent of people carry less than £20 on them but 93 per cent carry a credit or debit card.

If you’re selling on a website then it’s also imperative that you use the correct payments gateway. When shopping for the best card not present solution, bear in mind security compliance and credibility.  

Card payments are no longer the domain of big business and you’ll be surprised at how little the e-reader hardware costs for small business.  Credit or debit card payments account for 70 per cent or £170bn of all UK retail spending so those selling valuable goods may be missing out on a lot of sales opportunities.

Having credit or debit facilities also casts your business in a much more professional light, reflecting well on your product and services. If you’re still unsure whether to commit to accepting card payments, Gocompare have compiled a handy list of the benefits and other considerations here.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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