B2B Payments

Ignoring Next-Gen Payments Tech Proves Costly For SMEs

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Small- and medium-sized enterprises in the U.K. that aren’t accepting “next-generation” payments technologies, like in-store invisible payments or cryptocurrencies, are missing out big time, says new data from Barclaycard.

A report released Friday (May 19) said SMEs are missing out on up to $2.1 billion in transactions because a consumer was forced to abandon a transaction after discovering a small business does not accept a particular type of payment technology. A survey from Barclaycard found nearly half of millennial shoppers are using next-gen payment tools, and nearly a third have abandoned a purchase that they weren’t able to pay for with one of these technologies.

But it’s not just a millennial issue: 15 percent of shoppers across all ages said they have abandoned a transaction for this reason.

Small businesses are aware of the issue. Nearly a quarter told Barclaycard they know they have lost customers because they lack the ability to accept these payment technologies. That figure rises even more when the survey took into account more common payment technologies, like online and mobile payments, contactless payments and wearable devices, where two-thirds of small retailers said they have lost customers because they don’t accept payments via these methods.

“Our figures show that SMEs are losing sales by not adopting increasingly popular technologies that facilitate invisible and conversational payments,” said Barclaycard Head of Small Business Greg Liset in a statement. “While it’s encouraging that many smaller retailers are becoming aware of the importance of these emerging methods, they need to turn this ambition into action to steal a march on the competition and keep up with consumers both now and in the future.”

Nearly 30 percent of SMEs said they plan to upgrade their payment offerings in the next six months, but that only goes so far: a fifth of SMEs said they don’t think they need to accept invisible payments. The data suggests otherwise, with 27 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds telling Barclaycard that they believe invisible payments will become the most popular payment technology in the next five years.

More than half of this age range say they predict cash will become redundant at some point.

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