Your Cash-Only Policy Is Holding Your Small Business Back

In recent Intuit study shows a whopping 55% of American small businesses do not accept credit cards. Is your jaw on the floor? Ours was. We fact-checked that stats again and again to make sure the study wasn't taken in 1997. "Intuit estimates that each business that does not accept plastic misses out on approximately $7,000 in sales annually, equating to approximately more than $100 billion in collective lost revenue. This missed opportunity represents a combination of new sales and sales that go to other businesses that accept credit cards."


That's more than half of you out there saying "no" to paying customers and either losing business or souring the customer experience, if only just a little bit. CNBC spoke with the owner of Joe Coffee, a chain of craft coffee shops in NYC. For ten years, it felt natural to be a cash-only business—it avoided significant processing fees and was in-line with their mom and pop reputation. However, owner Jonathan Rubenstein started to feel a shift. "We started reading our Yelp reviews—75 percent of the negative comments about Joe were about us not taking credit cards," he said. "We were losing a lot of sales in terms of people not having cash and going to a competing coffee shop but also people spending less money who wouldn't buy a $17 bag of coffee [beans] or a $75 grinder." 

Cash flow is vitally important to the health of a small business, and accepting credit cards can help alleviate cash flow strain as well. Small businesses that take credit cards get paid quicker and make more sales than businesses with a strict cash-only policy. The survey found that 83 percent of businesses that accept credit cards make more sales, with 52 percent making at least $1,000 more per month and 18 percent making at least $20,000 more per month. In addition, 74 percent of those surveyed said they get paid faster and reduce bad debt by accepting credit cards.

If you like your facts in infographic form, we've got you covered below.


Do you accept credit cards? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!