The Top 3 Reasons SMBs Should Accept Credit Cards

August 10, 2015

There are over 28 million small businesses in the U.S. Shockingly, 55% of small businesses, or 15.4 million, still do not accept credit cards. For the majority, the reason is simple – it costs them more money versus cash and check. These fees are typically marginal interchange feeds, but yes, there are costs for businesses to accept credit and debit cards. Of course for many, the opportunities far outweigh the expenses.


Here are the top 3 reasons SMBs should be accepting credit cards.



  1. Lost Sales: It’s estimated that the 15 million businesses not accepting credit cards are losing out on a total of $ 100 billion in annual sales. That equates to $ 7,000 of new and existing sales per company per year that are lost to a competitor because the company does not accept cards.


  1. Cash is Dying: According to Javelin Research only 27% of in-store purchases are cash, while plastic card purchases comprise 66% of all in-person sales. And, there’s a growing number of consumers who will only shop at businesses that take multiple forms of payment.

    1. 69% of consumers 18-34
    2. 58% of consumers 34-44
    3. 52% of consumers 45-54
    4. 48% of consumers 55+


  1. Consumers Spend More with Credit: A Dunn and Bradstreet study revealed that on average consumers spend 12-18% more when making a purchase with a credit card as opposed to cash. Talk about benefit to bottom line sales.

As mentioned earlier, the fees are marginal, and many SMB owners simply associate them to a general cost of doing business. When you look at just the high-level trends in terms of both the consumer movement away from cash and the average increase in sales (12-18%) for customers using plastic (credit cards), the benefits seem obvious.


As a consumer who admittedly rarely carries cash, I am astounded that the majority of SMBs in the U.S. are not accepting credit cards. In all honesty, I would leave one store and choose another if they didn’t accept credit and the other did. Beyond traditional credit and debit card payments, consumer adoption of mobile payments (Apple Pay™, Android Pay, etc.) also continues to grow.


Grow your business. The time is now to begin offering multiple forms of payment acceptance, including EMV and Apple Pay, beyond cash and check.

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