Most Small Business Owners Say They Prefer Cash Payments to Credit

Many small business owners across the country that deal with customers making purchases on a daily basis may know just how costly credit and debit card interchange fees can be. However, this issue is one that seems to be growing increasingly important for consumers, and it might be time for smaller companies to try to adapt.

Today, slightly less than three in five small business owners say that their customers regularly ask them to begin accepting credit card payments, even as more than seven in 10 companies prefer to accept cash or checks to cards, according to a new survey from the small business payment platform WePay. This difference of opinion on the matter of what types of payment methods work best can be costly for small businesses, particularly those looking to tap a younger market.

In all, 69 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 years old say they will only shop at businesses that accept multiple forms of payments, and that percentage outstrips those for all other age groups by far, the report said. In general, the older the demographic, the more willing they are to not rely on payment cards to complete transactions; 58 percent of those 35 to 44 say they will only do business with establishments taking more than one payment, compared to 52 percent of those 45 to 54, and just 48 of shoppers 55 or older.

Meanwhile, just 64 percent of consumers say they write fewer than three checks a month, and that trend is also reflected with owners, as slightly more than one-quarter of them say they see far fewer checks now than they did three years ago, the report said. Further, more than half of those 18 to 34 years old say they never write checks at all.

"I hear daily from small businesses that they see the need to accept credit cards, but have felt that traditional payment providers are difficult to use and don't get them their money fast enough," said Bill Clerico, CEO of WePay. "We wanted to show them that the time to start accepting credit cards is now."

Accepting card payments can be costly for small businesses, depending on the volume of payments they receive. However, those concerned about the impact of accepting such purchases may want to examine their other expenses, such as those for small business insurance premiums, to cut corners. Finding more affordable general liability insurance, for instance, can be a major help.