Why Cash-Based Businesses Should Start Accepting Cards

As this post is being written, the population of the United States sits at about 325.7 million people, which means that nearly 30 million people don’t carry a single dollar on their person. For the 55 percent of small businesses that are cash-based, this number should be alarming -- that’s a big number of potential customers to miss out on! Making the leap from a cash-only system to accepting credit cards can be daunting (and expensive), but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Here are a few reasons why cash-based business should consider accepting card payments.

There are over 27 million small businesses in the United States, but you might be surprised to learn that 55 percent of them do not accept credit cards. Consumers are quickly moving away from cash, leaving over half of America’s small businesses in danger of being left behind.In 2014, the Washington Post reported that close to 50 percent of Americans carry less than $20 in cash and that nine percent of Americans carry no cash at all. As this post is being written, the population of the United States sits at about 325.7 million people, which means that nearly 30 million people don’t carry a single dollar on their person. For the 55 percent of small businesses that are cash-based, this number should be alarming -- that’s a big number of potential customers to miss out on! Making the leap from a cash-only system to accepting credit cards can be daunting (and expensive), but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Here are a few reasons why cash-based business should consider accepting card payments:

1. It makes your customer experience better

One of the most important profit drivers for every successful business is return customers, but how do you convince your customers to return? It’s not just about your product, it’s about the experience as well. Shopping, whether in person or online, has always been about the experience. Merchants go to great lengths to make their store or site welcoming, easy to navigate, and stocked with attractive, high-quality products, but none of that means much if the customer can’t pay for the things they want.An article published by Forbes in 2013 stated that 66 percent of point-of-sale transactions involve a credit card, while only 27 percent involve cash (and in the five years since that article was published, it’s expected that the percentage of cash transactions has dropped even further). Customers often choose to pay with a card because of its convenience. Where counting out change or writing a check can take some time, swiping a card takes only seconds. In fact, Credibly reports that consumers are willing to spend 100 percent more for the convenience of being able to pay with a card. Bottom line, not accepting cards is costing merchants business.

2. It’s easier to track and spot fraud

Now, I’m not trying to deny that there are security risks with credit cards. As they become more popular, thieves are much more likely to go after credit card information than your cash register, and the massive data breaches at businesses like Target and Adidas are proof of that. However, if something goes wrong, merchants that accept cards have a much easier time getting to the bottom of things. Every card transaction is automatically recorded, transactions can be retroactively traced and canceled, and card companies have created tremendous fraud security measures to prevent your customer’s card information from getting out. Fraudulent card transactions don’t just disappear like stolen cash often does. Of course, for those whose favorite subject in school wasn’t math, card transaction records can make accounting much less of a headache. When everything is in one place, it is easier to pay bills, reconcile client payments, and keep track of transactions.

3. It’s cheaper than you think

It's time to talk about the number one reason small business owners don’t accept credit cards: the cost. I can't deny it. It’s true. If they're going to accept credit cards, merchants have to accept extra costs. Merchants can expect to pay at least the initial cost of hardware, monthly processing fees, and interchange rates, but there may be other fees they pay depending on their setup.Sadly, the credit card processing industry doesn’t have the best reputation. Some merchants face mountains of hidden fees that eat up a large portion of profits, which most small businesses can’t afford. It’s no mystery why many companies are hesitant to begin accepting cards.SwipeSum is working to change that. We don’t want any business to feel intimidated by the big, bad payments industry, and are 100 percent committed to getting the best processing rates for every business. It only takes a few minutes to get started. Simply fill out our free online consultation and we’ll use our state-of-the-art technology to find the processors that best fit your company. Then, we’ll get all of those companies to bid on your business. We’ll present you with the three best rates we can find, then help you get processing card payments ASAP.SwipeSum helps companies of all sizes, so whether you are a one-man crew or a multinational corporation, we’ll help you find the cheapest way to accept credit cards. We never want to see any company miss out on more business because they feel the cost (and hassle) of choosing a payment processor was too much for them to handle.Everyone has heard the old phrase: “you need to spend money to make money.” While starting to accept card payments may bring on some new costs, businesses should know that they won’t spend more than they’ll make, so long as they find the right processor. The increase in profit that comes once you start accepting cards will make the extra costs totally worth it.  Accepting cards will bring in more customers and expand your company’s capability to serve those customers all at once, and you don't have to break the bank to achieve it.

Taft Anderson

Taft Anderson is the former Product Marketing Manager of Swipesum. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis' Olin Business School, Taft is a content and branding expert.

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