Apr 25 2012
As a business owner, you make a lot of critical decisions when choosing your operating model, and one that always leaves me scratching my head, is why a business would refuse to accept credit or debit cards.
During a recent trip to a deli I was greeted by a hand written sign with the stern message, CASH ONLY!!! When I turned around to walk out, the very sweet-hearted woman behind the counter asked if anything was wrong. Yes, I said, your competition on the corner will take my debit card and you won’t.
Is Cash a Thing of the Past?
I imagine I am like a lot of people these days in that I don’t often have cash on hand. Years ago I would feel uneasy if I didn’t have a little cash for those daily incidentals, but the world is different today. You can pay for your “dollar menu” item with a card and not think twice about it. I enjoy using my card. It’s fast, safe and I get a record of my purchases on one statement.
This has become a common feeling for many consumers. So much so, that when we are presented with not being able to use our cards, I for one, will take my business elsewhere. Do the business owners that don’t accept plastic realize that they are losing their share of business due to an avoidable disadvantage?
Fees vs. Losing a Sale
If you’re a business owner that doesn’t accept debit or credit and it’s due to fees, you need to calculate how much money you are losing in sales from customers walking out versus how much you would lose in fees for making a sale. The only person that can make that decision for your business is you. But keep in mind, there is tremendous value in this cost of doing business.
Improve Cash Flow
Every day we interact with businesses that are doing everything they can to better manage their cash flow. We see receivables in excess of 30 days, 45 days, 60 days and more. In my humble opinion, every business should consider taking card payments at point of sale/service to take advantage of next day funding and drastically improve their cash flow. They may find it transforms their business!
In today’s world of simply downloading a smart phone app and plugging in a card swipe, even the smallest business owner can accept cards for payment in no time. Imagine that… anywhere… anytime. Rather than leaving invoices behind, the landscapers and electricians of the world can be swiping cards on their smart phones right on the homeowner’s front step! No more chasing customers for payment night after night, after a long day’s work. Also, their customers will love getting their reward points and sky miles.
What’s your opinion? Do you leave if a business won’t take your card?