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How SMEs can access £1.6 billion hidden market

New data from Barclaycard show that SMEs are missing out on £1.6 billion by not operating the latest payment technology. The solution is clear but not cheap. Alternative finance has a role to play in managing the cost.

According to the figures, two thirds of small retailers have lost sales because they didn’t have contactless, online, mobile and wearable payment technology. This is a significant amount of small businesses. With the growing popularity of new online invisible and conversational payment, the number could well rise further in the short term.

However, if at first glance this news seems downbeat, take a second look. For small business willing and able to invest, there is a huge market of consumer sales to tap. And given the current market climate, the importance of this market shouldn’t be underplayed.

Of course, upgrading payment technology comes at a cost, and for many of these companies, it is a question of affordability that prevents them making an investment. SMEs must already bear a considerable burden in the form of costs relating to business rates, pension auto-enrolment, cyber-security and new legislation relating to the living wage and apprenticeships. Payment technology just adds to the pressure.

So, how can small business owners manage yet more costs and tap into a multi-billion-pound market? Alternative finance has a role to play in helping them access these consumer sales.

The popularity of non-bank finance services has risen steeply in recent years as their accessibility, affordability and flexibility has proven vital to SMEs stymied by traditional lender caution. For example, by using invoice finance, small business owners can better safeguard cashflow, which in turn improves their capability to invest.

At a time when the market is being constrained by uncertainty, every penny counts. Hence, SMEs need to be able to take advantage of every opportunity. Using alternative finance can help give them the power to do so.

To find out more about A&T Business Associates services, contact us on 01903 602211 or info@atbusinessassociates.co.uk.

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