I am amazed at how many small retail shops make the automatic business decision that they can’t afford to take credit or debit cards. Who carries cash around these days? Let alone a big old uncomfortable checkbook?
These are the days of traveling lean and light – and electronically! A credit or debit card in your back pocket and you’re off for a fun day of shopping – until you walk in to one of those delightful little unique shops, spend an hour shopping, only to find out they don’t take credit cards.
Some people say “oh, I’ll be back – just let me go to the ATM.” But statistically, more than 80% of them never return for their carefully selected treasures.
These days, the truer question is “How can a business NOT afford to take credit cards?” There are so many options out there – Square for your iphone, PayPal has a new smart phone processor too – and these don’t require a monthly fee. Square charges 2.75% of the purchase price and the attachment and set up are free. Last time I counted, that was 97.25% in your pocket! Who can afford to turn that away?
With those reasonable fees, I could even see homeowners have one on standby in case they decide to have the mega garage sale of the century – can you imagine being able to use your debit card at a garage sale? I’m there!
Greg Hammermaster, president of Sage Payment Solutions, was quoted by BusinessNewsDaily.com, “Business owners don’t always have a chance to have a dialogue with customers. They might come in one time, see that you don’t take credit cards and walk out.”
Talk about a loss.
And Ann Latham, president of Uncommon Clarity, a Massachusetts consulting firm, takes it one step further, “Businesses that operate on a cash-only basis to avoid transaction fees for debit or credit cards may be committing “financial suicide.”
When I think of customers small businesses should be targeting, I think of my mother. Did you know that those in the age sector between 50 and 75 have the highest percentage of disposable income? My mom falls into that category and she loves to shop! But she never carries a checkbook, rarely carries cash and prefers to use her debit card. Why would anybody want to turn her buying power away?
So all you small business owners out there – what are your thoughts?