What's your profit point? Try our Break-Even Calculator.

Vector Text

Get the newsletter everyone is talking about

Drop your email to get weekly small business advice

Why Your Business Needs to Accept Card Payments

Businesses that accept card payments have a competitive edge. Learn how credit cards can drive sales and deliver greater convenience for your customers.

5 min read

In 2019, the number of cash only businesses is dwindling. People might still be willing to hit the ATM before visiting a favorite food truck or to leave a tip.

But today, most of your customers expect the convenience of credit cards. After all, many credit cards offer tempting rewards like points or airline miles. Unlike debit cards, credit cards can help safeguard customers against fraud, too. 

From e-commerce to higher sales, there are plenty of good reasons your business should accept card payments. Let's take a closer look.

Customers Want You to Accept Card Payments Over Cash

The truth is, your customers probably don't carry cash. A 2019 survey by US Bank found that 3 in 10 Americans don't use cash in a typical week. That means 70% of people rely entirely on their credit cards or other forms of payment most of the time.

Among people who do carry cash, they don't keep much on hand. For almost 50% of people, carrying cash means having less than $20. 

Think about your products or services. What can a customer buy for $20, including tax or tip? For most businesses, the answer is probably "not much." 

The takeaway for businesses: If you don't accept card payments, you're unlikely to land big sales. No matter how much customers might want to buy something, they'll walk away if they don't have the cash. 

When you accept credit cards, you'll clear away this obstacle. If you make shopping easier and more convenient for your customers, you'll also reap the rewards. 

accept credit cards

Customers Spend More When You Accept Card Payments

Because customers are so unlikely to have cash, it's logical that credit cards can help drive sales. But how much of a difference can credit cards actually make?

According to Fundera, the difference could be very significant. The average cash purchase amounts to $22 on average. That's almost six times lower than the average credit card purchase, which clocks in at $122.

It's easy to see how this can add up fast. Acquiring new customers is time-consuming and expensive. But making it easier for your existing customers to spend more could put you on the fast track to higher revenue.

Recent research backs this up. In fact, 83% of small businesses see sales leap when they accept credit cards. 

It might take a little research before you can accept card payments. But the likelihood of sizable ROI makes accepting credit cards well worth the effort.

how to accept credit cards


E-Commerce Is Driving More Businesses to Accept Card Payments

Along with a widespread preference for credit cards, customers like to shop online. Today, less than one-third of customers prefer shopping at a store.

It might seem surprising, but that statistic holds true for Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers alike. For Gen Z, the number of brick-and-mortar shoppers is even lower. Less than 10% of Gen Z customers prefer brick-and-mortar. 

There are a few things to know about accepting credit card payments online.

Accepting card payments in-store doesn't mean you can instantly accept them online. You'll need to make sure your merchant account is approved for both online and brick-and-mortar payments. If you don't take this step, your account could risk termination.

Fortunately, adding online payments is often simple, especially if you already take credit cards in-store. Just reach out to your payment processor and explain that you'd like to add online processing.

Finally, choose an online payment processor that's looking ahead. Credit cards are still the most common way to pay online. But as time goes on, digital wallets and cryptocurrency are on the rise. Be sure to select a payment processor that can grow with you as technology changes.


When You Accept Card Payments, Include a Range of Options

The number of credit cards in circulation is growing. Today, your customers bring all kinds of cards to the table. Today, the average customer has four credit cards. 

In 2018, Visa was the most popular credit card, powering nearly $7.6 billion in sales. Mastercard is the second most popular option. Still, there are plenty of other popular cards in circulation. American Express, Discover and Capitol One are just a small selection of the variety of cards available today.

Customers have personal reasons behind which cards they choose to swipe. They could be trying to rack up points or cash back bonuses. Or, they could be juggling debt during times of financial worry. 

Whatever their reasons, customers appreciate the power to choose which card to use. If you're going to accept card payments, it pays to figure out which cards your customers will want to use.

Finally, don't forget about accepting debit cards. Though credit cards typically offer better rewards and greater security, debit cards are still a popular payment option.

Still not ready to accept card payments? Download GoSite's free fact sheet to find answers to top questions and concerns.

New call-to-action

Download This Fact Sheet


The easiest way to connect your business with more customers.
Group 12 (2) (1) (1)

Keep Reading

Illustration of two invoices with different dollar amounts.

10 Steps to Writing the Perfect Price Increase Letter

Price increases are a normal part of growing your business—but it may be uncomfortable when you have loyal customers. ...
Oct 12, 2021 5 min read
General contractor writing an estimate on her clipboard.

Free Construction Estimate Templates for Your Next Gig

Are the job sites keeping you busy? We’re not surprised. Dodge Construction Outlook of 2021 reported construction in ...
Sep 29, 2021 5 min read
Illustration of a business owners customizing an invoice template.

No-Nonsense Invoice Templates for Any Business [Google Docs]

When it’s time to send an invoice to customers, small business owners should waste no time. Invoicing accurately and on ...
Aug 12, 2021 5 min read