CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bank of America Merchant Services, a leader in payments, eCommerce and security solutions, today released its annual Small Business Payments Spotlight. The report is tailored to help small businesses navigate the complex world of payments through a wealth of timely, actionable information.
For this year’s Spotlight, Bank of America Merchant Services tapped Forrester Consulting to survey more than 500 small business owners and 500 consumers throughout the U.S.˟ The report, which highlights the latest payments-focused trends and behaviors, uncovered a number of intriguing and informative findings, including:
1. Both small business owners and consumers are relying more on mobile devices to streamline the shopping experience.
Key finding: 35 percent of consumers are no longer willing to tolerate lines at businesses because of the convenience of mobile checkout.
Credit and debit cards remain the most popular payment method both in-store and online, while cash continues its slow march to irrelevance. The report also reveals that consumers are growing increasingly comfortable with shopping and paying for goods and services on their mobile phones.
More small businesses are responding to this trend by accepting digital payments, noting that customers always have their phones on them.
Flexibility at the point of sale is also key. Accepting digital payments, multiple card brands and, for now, cash, allows small businesses to cater to a range of customer expectations and preferences.
2. To stay competitive and grow sales, small businesses are expanding and enhancing their eCommerce capabilities.
Key finding: 43 percent of consumers said they are shopping online more than ever.
In its 2017 Small Business Payments Spotlight, Bank of America Merchant Services determined only 44 percent of the small businesses surveyed maintained an eCommerce site. In just one year, that number increased to 51 percent.
Small businesses know their customers are shopping online more today than ever before, which is why the most successful merchants are enabling their customers to buy from them via a website or app.
3. Data breaches, which threaten sales and customer loyalty, are only growing more costly.
Key finding: 22 percent of consumers who had their bank or personal information stolen indicated they would not shop at a small business that had experienced a data breach.
Data breaches, and the associated costs to recover from them, can be devastating to a small business. According to the latest report, nearly 40 percent of small businesses that experienced a data breach reported a financial impact in excess of $50,000 – including costs to remedy the issue and lost sales.
And the damage goes beyond strictly financial measures. More than a fifth of consumers said they would never again trust or shop at a small business that experienced a breach. Few small businesses are in a position to sustain such a blow to their finances and customer base.
Fortunately, there’s good news. Since 2017, there’s been a rise in the number of businesses that have enabled EMV chip card technology – an important step in keeping payments data secure.
“What’s most intriguing about the findings in this year’s Small Business Payments Spotlight is that today’s business owners are increasingly technology savvy and attuned to their customers’ changing preferences and expectations,” said Bank of America Merchant Services’ Chief Executive Officer Tim Tynan. “Small businesses can use their size to their advantage and pivot with greater speed to new payments acceptance, eCommerce and loyalty capabilities that strengthen relationships with their customers.”
For more information about Bank of America Merchant Services, visit https://merch.bankofamerica.com. Find more tips tailored for small business owners at www.facebook.com/bankofamericamerchantservices and www.linkedin.com/company/bank-of-america-merchant-services/.
About Bank of America Merchant Services
Bank of America Merchant Services brings together market-leading payment, eCommerce and security solutions to help businesses optimize global digital commerce and improve their customer’s purchase journey.
The company processes 16.6 billion transactions at more than 705,000 merchant locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Bank of America Merchant Services guides businesses from the Fortune 50 to neighborhood establishments through the evolving world of payments.¹
To learn more, please visit https://merch.bankofamerica.com.
¹ Per the Nilson report, March 2018, Issue #1127 and Bank of America Merchant Services data, June 2018.
˟The Small Business Payments Spotlight is based on a report Bank of America Merchant Services commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct in the summer of 2018. As part of the report, Forrester surveyed more than 500 small business owners and 500 consumers throughout the U.S.