Do You Lose Business by Not Taking Cards?

A key area in business development and client relationships is how you take payment. Nobody likes giving their money away. No matter how good the product or service they have received. Therefore this important part of the business process, must be as seamless as possible.

LongServices can work with you to review your payment services, ensuring you are losing no business.

If payment is difficult (potential) clients may not complete the transaction and are unlikely to return for repeat business.

Additionally this potential loss of revenue could be increased by not offering a payment option at all.

I am surprised when I speak to a business and am told, “We don’t and never will take cards.” Then when I ask directly if they ever review this policy, I am then told they will not as: it is not tradition; against their principles; too expensive, or, the customers do not want this.

At a time when how businesses work and how (business or domestic) customers buy is constantly changing, a review of the payment process should be regular. Many household names have gone out of business in the last decade, because they have not adapted to change.

A “simple” technological change, such as contactless card payment, has meant that the myth that some people will never use cards has been exposed. Older or disabled people who previously had trouble entering a number on a pin pad, now prefer a contactless card payment to finding the cash in a purse, wallet or pocket.

People are carrying less cash, meaning that if a business such as a shop, hairdresser or café does not take cards, they may lose add-on sales. For example, a guy may have the tenner to pay for the haircut, but cannot pay for the additional grooming products that the barber sells.

If a corner shop does not take cards, they do not know how much the lady who stuck her head in the door and asked if they did, would have spent. They also do not know how many times she just walks past the shop. Additionally how many people has she told not to go to the store, because they do not take cards? How far has this spread?

This does not just apply to small “high street” businesses. I have recently done a payments processes review with an architect. I asked if they thought they may have lost business because they do not take cards. They thought not initially.

I then asked them to look at it in another manner.

Did they believe, that they had ever lost business because the potential client could not afford it. Something they would not have wanted to admit. They said probably. I then asked if this was not that the client couldn’t afford it, but were not able to afford it in a single payment. In this case they may have gone forward if allowed to pay by credit card, which they could settle in a couple of months, without sharing any financial secrets.

On further discussion, the partners thought this had definitely happened. The value they believe they may have lost was between £10,000 and £100,000 a quarter.

Taking cards is simple to set up. If it is not used the cost is negligible. If it is used the transaction rate payable is now very low. Certainly better than losing a deal or spending months chasing an unpaid debt.

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