SMEs missing out on £8.8bn by not taking cards

Thu Feb 09 2017

If you don’t take card payments, are you one of the many businesses in the UK missing out as a result?

It may be hard to believe, but 49% of small businesses1 in the UK still don’t take card payments2. Maybe they haven’t got round to it, or maybe they don’t feel the urgency.

But whatever the reason, our research shows that UK SMEs that don’t take cards are missing out on close to £8.8bn3. If you don’t take them, check out these five potential profit killers to see why you really should.

1. You’re turning customers away

Like a pumped-up bouncer who doesn’t like the look of someone’s shoes, if you don’t take cards you’re turning away good customers. And those customers could well be walking straight through the door of your card-taking competitor.

2. You’re limited to how much cash people are carrying

“Many people just don’t carry that much cash around anymore,” says Sharon Manikon, Director of Customer Solutions, Barclaycard. “If you’re relying on their loose change, you could be losing customers as a result.”

3. You’re giving your competitors an edge

The stats don’t lie. Our research shows that 44% of people are using cards more often than they did a year ago. And almost one in five  (17%) say they would be more likely to shop somewhere that took contactless payments. But don’t just take our word for it. Watch what Makatcha owner Maria Knowles has to say.

4. You could be making your customers unhappy

It’s not just that the majority of people prefer to pay by card. Our research shows that getting on for half of them (41%) get frustrated if they can’t. That rises to 58% of 18-34 year-olds.

5. You might be giving a bad impression

Opinions count, and our research shows that 43% of people would have a lower opinion of a business if it didn’t take card payments. Check out what Martin Duff from Randalls Jewellers has to say about how taking cards helped create a stronger impression among consumers.

Convinced about cards? Here’s why you should choose Barclaycard

Speak to us today to find out how we can help your business - 0800 029 4255

Or, why not use our online product selector tool help find the right payment solution for your business.


1. Online interviews were carried out with 506 senior management members within SMEs between 18 July and 1 August 2016. A separate study of 2,002 adults aged 18+ (nationally representative) was conducted between 5th and 8th July 2016. All research was carried out by Opinium Research.

2. This includes transactions made via card both in-store and online (excluding PayPal), as well as with mobile and wearable devices

3. Figure calculated based on data provided from UK SMEs on how much money they miss out on per lost transaction due to not accepting card payments. The figure was then used to determine the average loss per SME per annum grossed up to provide a national figure.

4. Including payment by mobile and wearable devices

The views expressed by any third party and any articles written by any third parties and featured in this article are the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Barclaycard. Barclaycard accepts no liability for the impact of, or any loss, however arising, from any decision made based on information contained and views expressed by any third parties or in their articles featured in this article.

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