Card Payments for Small Businesses: Everything You Need to Know

Card Payments for Small Businesses: Everything You Need to Know

Are you a small business owner wondering whether or not to start accepting card payments? With the rise of cashless payments, it’s becoming increasingly crucial for businesses of all sizes to accept card payments. Findings from the UK Finance report “UK Payment Markets 2022”:

  • Debit cards were the most used payment method, with 19.5 billion payments, accounting for 48% of all payments in the UK
  • In 2021 57% of all payments in the UK were made using cards
  • Cash use to decline to the point where 6% of payments are made using cash by 2030.


In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of card payments for small businesses, including how they work, the benefits of accepting them, and how to choose a card payment processor that’s right for your business.

Key points

  • Accepting card payments is a must for small businesses in today’s cashless society.
  • By accepting card payments, businesses can increase sales, improve cash flow, and provide a better customer experience. 
  • When choosing a card payment processor, it’s important to consider fees, integration, security, and customer support.
  • You’ll need to set up a merchant account 


Understanding Card Payments

Before we dive into the benefits of accepting card payments, it’s essential to understand how they work. Card payments are electronic payments that allow customers to pay for goods or services using a debit or credit card. When a customer makes a payment using a card, the payment is processed through either a Merchant Account, Virtual Terminal or Payment Gateway. Then, the funds are transferred from the customer’s account to the business’s.


Benefits of Accepting Card Payments

There are several benefits to accepting card payments for small businesses, including:

  • Increased Sales. By accepting card payments, businesses can increase their sales by making it easier for customers to pay for their goods or services. Customers are more likely to purchase if they can pay with a card, especially if they don’t have cash on hand.
  • Improved Cash Flow. Card payments are processed quickly, meaning businesses can receive payment for their goods or services within a few days. This improves cash flow and makes it easier for businesses to manage their finances.
  • Increased Security. Accepting card payments is more secure than accepting cash, as there is no risk of theft or counterfeit money. Card payments are also processed securely, so businesses don’t have to worry about storing customer payment information. See our article on PCI Compliance for UK Businesses.
  • Improved Customer Experience. Customers expect businesses to accept card payments, and by doing so, businesses can improve their customer experience. As a result, customers are more likely to return to a business with a convenient payment method.



Choosing a Card Payment Processor

Choosing a card payment processor is an essential decision for small businesses. There are several factors to consider, including:

  • Fees. Card payment processors charge fees for each transaction, so choosing a Merchant Service Provider with transparent fees that won’t eat into your profits is essential.
  • Integration. Your card payment processor should be able to integrate with your existing point-of-sale system or website.
  • Security. Look for a card payment processor that offers secure payment gateways and complies with industry standards for data security.
  • Customer Support. Choose a card payment processor that offers excellent customer support, as you may need help with your payment processing system from time to time.



Card Machines vs Card Readers: Know the Difference

Both devices are used for processing credit and debit card payments at point-of-sale. We have written an article that will dive into the differences between card machines and card readers and help you understand which device best suits your needs. 


What is the cost of a payment machine?

You have two options: purchase a card machine/card reader or rent it through your merchant account provider as part of your contract.

The most affordable card readers are app-based and connect to your smartphone or tablet.

For card machines, renting a terminal may be a better choice. You’ll enter into a contract (usually 12 months ) and typically pay a monthly fee for the contract duration. One of our offers is £13.50 per month.

When deciding on the best way to process card payments, it’s essential to factor in any additional fees you may be charged on top of the cost of the payment machine. Doing so will give you a clearer understanding of your monthly expenses and help you compare options more easily.


We offer free consultations and customer service, so you can count on us as your partner rather than just a service provider. Our team of payment experts provide solutions for your business. So whether you’re just getting started or looking to streamline, we’ll take the guesswork out of card payment processing.

We work hard to find the best card machine deals, so you don’t have to.


How Do Credit Card Payments Work