When starting out in business, owners often want the simplest and cheapest systems they can find. So they’ll accept only cash payments and avoid outsourcing essential services. Ironically, these cost-saving measures might keep those businesses small forever. Since they’re not thinking big, they’re limiting their potential income, so they won’t have the scope or funds to expand.
Think of it this way – today’s consumer largely pays by credit card or debit card, and the role of these cards has changed. Earlier generations saw credit cards as a luxury. But millennials and Generation Z members have the exact opposite attitude, seeing credit cards as essential.
The Only Way They Know How to Pay
For these younger consumers, credit cards are the main way they pay for everything. Some of these consumers have used credit cards since before their teens, and this habit became part of their financial nature. They learned to scrutinize their card statements from a young age, and credit cards are their default payment method.
This essentially means if your small business isn’t accepting credit cards, you’re locking out all that clientele. Many of these potential customers would rather find another store than pay cash. Plus, paying by credit card avoids the so-called “pain of paying,” which has been proven through multiple academic studies.
It basically works like this. When you pay in cash (notes and coins), you feel a psychological sense of ‘pain’ and loss. And this is in addition to the fact that you can only spend as much cash as you have in your wallet, purse, or pocket. But when you pay by card:
- Your purse / wallet doesn’t look or feel any lighter or emptier, so it ‘hurts’ less.
- Your credit card limit is way more than the cash you’re holding, so you can buy more.
- Your psychological state is calmer and freer, so you spend more willingly.
Easy card acceptance
This all proves you should accept credit cards, regardless of business size. In fact, small businesses need it more. And signing up is easier than you’d think. Cheaper too. Just find a payment processor with a free application. There are merchant processors that can confirm your account within one business day, so you could be accepting cards by this time tomorrow, if not sooner.
These payment processors will often help you get started, especially if you’re a small business with limited disposable cash. Some accept bad credit, which is a common occurrence among small business. And they’ll give you all the tools you need at no additional cost. The right payment processor will include POS terminals (smartphone apps, electronic keypads, online store integration), virtual shopping carts, and card programing.
For more information on how accepting credit card payments is essential to the success of your small business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.