There is a legendary breakfast place near my house, the kind that’s been around since the 50s, and is still family-owned and full of secret recipes. And one of the quirks of the place is it’s cash only. Occasionally that fact causes minor annoyance, but everyone forgives the owners for any inconvenience, because a legendary breakfast is worth it, and as proof, the place is always packed.
If your business is cash-only, and you are currently thinking along the lines of “how can I get more people in here?”, it may be a good idea to consider how accepting credit cards for your small business can change things for the better.
First of all, the heritage establishments described above are definitely the minority. For everyone else, it has been estimated that not accepting cards costs a business $7,000 per year in lost sales, on average. And even for these good old-fashioned places that have a healthy “cash only” culture, times are changing. It’s anyone’s guess if millennials and the budding Generation Z will continue to be as willing to run to the ATM before their breakfast. A switch to adding cards to the payment options ensures that stores stay competitive going forward.
Credit cards are designed to get people to spend, and the numbers back this up. Compared to cash, credit card transactions have been estimated to be about 15% more, on average. If you’re only accepting cash, you’re limiting the amount your customer can spend at your store to how much money they currently have in their pocket.
Credit card payments are safer for you, the business, than personal checks, which can bounce. Card tech is improving security too; if you have the most recent EMV technology, you don’t have to worry about being on the hook for fraud. Also, if you’re accepting more card transactions, you’re limiting the amount of cash that’s lying around, making theft less of a worry for your store.
These benefits are really just the beginning. At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself, “What is the competitive advantage to limiting how my customers buy from me?” If it’s tough to think of a substantive benefit, it may just be time to consider accepting credit cards for your small business.