The AA has partnered with card payment acquirer EVO Payments International in a move that aims to offer UK businesses a better deal based on ‘transparent pricing, value for money, and excellent customer service’.
Data from the AA shows that 61 per cent of SMEs are reliant on card terminals but experience problems, and 26 per cent have difficulty managing payments with cash.
The AA’s move comes at a time when the majority of SMEs (62 per cent) say that cash no longer features as a percentage of their total sales, with 17 per cent saying it now represents less than 10 per cent of their predicted sales for the next six months.
The growing disconnection with cash is reinforced by a new consumer poll for the AA which reveals that 83 per cent of consumers are unable to recall which famous person is featured on the back of a £20 note.
Frustration with card terminals
While 28 per cent of small businesses accept point of sale payments, many SMEs experience a range of frustrations with their card terminals, the AA’s data finds.
A quarter (25 per cent) of UK small businesses say that set-up costs are too high, rising to 42 per cent in the hospitality and leisure sector, and 29 per cent in the retail sector.
Hidden costs in these sectors are also an issue for one in four SMEs in the retail sector (24 per cent) and hospitality and leisure sector (26 per cent). This is particularly an issue for businesses that were scaling back over the next three months (31 per cent).
One in five SMEs (20 per cent) mention poor internet connection impeding their ability to take more card payments at peak business times.
David Searle, director of AA Financial Services says, ‘The challenges many SMEs have with payment terminals, often relating to opaque pricing tariffs and surprise add-ons, need to be put right and the status quo needs to be disrupted.
‘With around one in five AA members running a small business, we have for some time been looking at what we can do to help, particularly given the current economic climate.
‘The launch of Card Pay from the AA is the logical first step for small businesses that operate in an increasingly cashless society and are looking for ways to keep running costs under control.’
See also: Five tips to get started taking card payments – A guide written in plain English covering the essentials of modern payment systems