Small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are losing up to £7.5 billion a year due to not offering customers payment by debit/credit card, according to new research from Barclaycard.

The study revealed that 58% of SMEs are currently not able to take card payments, despite the fact that nearly three quarters of all retail transactions are currently carried out this way.

Of those that don’t accept card, a quarter of businesses admitted that this had lost them sales opportunities in the past.

Not offering card payments results in the loss of around one sale per week, with each sale worth £182 on average. This amounts to £10,884 lost revenue over the course of a year.

Philip McHugh, CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions, said:

“For any business, the challenge is to first secure customers’ interest and then to convert the interest into sales. However, our research has shown that many small businesses are falling at the final hurdle and losing customers and vital revenue by not accepting card payments.”

At present, just 42% of SMEs offer customers the option of paying by credit or debit card. Of the 58 per cent that don’t, over a quarter choose not to because they believe this would entail significant cost, and one in ten think it will be too complicated and wouldn’t know where to start.

Image by Marsmettnn Tallahassee