“Britain’s small businesses could be losing more than £800m of sales a year by not taking credit and debit card payments”.
So says a news story that is currently doing the rounds. Whether or not you believe the figure of £800m, the fact does remain that many small businesses such as, corner shops, local tradesmen, market traders, and numerous mobile businesses, can’t take card payments.
These businesses an only accept payment in cash or cheque. I don’t know about you but I rarely carry much cash around and I never carry a cheque book so, no card payment, no sale.
On the other side of the fence, I hate it when customers give me a cheque. They put a cheque in the post, which can take who know how long to arrive, given the vagaries of the Royal Mail, and then it takes another 5 days to arrive in my account after I’ve paid it into the bank.
The excuse for not accepting cards has been that card payments are expensive. But that’s not true any more.
With a PayPal account anyone can accept card payments. You pay a commission on each transaction but there is no upfront fee and you don’t need an expensive merchant bank account. You can use your regular bank account. Wouldn’t you rather pay the commission than lose the sale? For me it’s a no brainer.
To date, PayPal has really been restricted to online sales, but that has now changed.
Now, anyone can accept card payments, anywhere, anytime. PayPal have now launched a card reader that can pair with a smartphone. This means that you can take payments anywhere you can get a mobile signal. There is a one-off charge of £99 for the card reader and after that you only pay the transaction commission.
Good news for any business, just for the convenience alone? Imagine a tradesman – e.g. builder, plumber – doing work for a householder. He can take a card payment immediately he has finished the job. Or a taxi driver, mobile beautician, window cleaner, gardener. The list is endless.
Now I’ll let you into a secret if you already accept PayPal payment via your website. At no additional cost, it’s possible to accept those payments over the phone. So you can take a payment, there and then, whilst you’re talking to a client. How? Call me.
Are you leaving money on the table because you can’t accept card payments?
(BTW – I’m not getting paid commission by PayPal to give you this information)