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Treading With Care: SMBs Size Up Technology Need Before Jumping On Adoption

The lack of deep pockets and room for experimentation makes many small and medium enterprises ask, “What’s in it for me?” before jumping on technology solutions that claim to be the latest and greatest. The PYMNTS.com Small Business Technology Adoption IndexTM, powered by Sage, decided to measure if and how SMBs are embracing the technology to pay, get paid and manage money.

SMBs spend $13 billion on checks annually at an average cost of $7 per check. And an average SMB writes 10 checks a month, which takes 18 days to process. But does it keep them up at night? If it does, what are these businesses doing to combat this?

PYMNTS.com and Sage decided to measure if and how SMBs are embracing technology to expedite payments and manage money flows to stay abreast with the latest industry trends. The PYMNTS.com Small Business Technology Adoption IndexTMpowered by Sage, is the result of an in-depth survey of nearly 700 small to medium businesses across the country. The focus was to find the degree to which these entities have adopted or are in the process of adopting technology to facilitate payments. The survey covered all sides of money flow, including receiving customer payments; paying suppliers and employees; and overall financial accounting and cash management.

The study set out to find how these enterprises measure up against behemoths in their space, to discover their priorities and concerns with regards to payment acceptance and cash flow management.

Key findings include:

Checks and Cash Are Still King

The two top forms of payment might be considered old school, but they get the job done for SMBs.

Ninety-two percent of all businesses accept checks and 84 percent accept cash, beating out the “new” electronic forms of payment.

EMV Can Wait

Big companies might be losing sleep over EMV migration, but not SMBs. Only 28 percent of them have deployed EMV capabilities in time for the liability shift and a stunning 64 percent who haven’t said they “probably won’t.”

Treading Carefully with Technology

A whopping 61 percent of the enterprises surveyed said that they don’t have an issue with their current systems and processes, while 44 percent said that they adopt any new technology with a lot of caution. That said, 31 percent use electronic invoicing and 20 percent of them accept payments electronically. Cloud-based solutions remain elusive for most companies. Only 10 percent have tapped into these solutions or plan to do so within the next year.

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