New research has revealed that small businesses could be losing out on over £23,000 of profit every year because they don't accept card payments.
A report by B2B marketplace Expert Market has found that nearly half of all payments in 2015 were made using a debit or credit card - equivalent to an average profit of £93,660 per small business.
However, almost one in ten of the UK's 5.4 million small firms don't accept card payments.
At the same time, one in four consumers actively avoid businesses that have a cash-only policy; it means that SMEs could be missing out on over £23,000 of profit every year.
Card payments are expected to make up 65% of all consumer transactions by 2025. By then, any businesses that operate on a cash-only basis risk losing over £35,000 per year from missed sales opportunities says the report.
As more card payment options are introduced, the use of cash is declining, especially among millennials. The data shows that nearly two-thirds of 24-34 year-olds prefer to not carry cash at all and would rather use credit or debit cards.
Contactless now accounts for over 8% of all card payments and by 2025 contactless payments are projected to account for 47% of payments.
Adelle Kehoe, head of Expert Market, said: "With such rapid innovation and competition in the financial technology space, the importance of cash payments is only set to dwindle further.
"Our findings highlight the need for cash-only businesses to adapt in order to remain competitive or miss out on huge profits by choosing not to keep up with consumer buying behaviour trends. As the millennial generation comes of age and their purchasing power becomes stronger, businesses will have no choice but to pay attention to their preferences."
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