Small C-stores accepting more credit cards

The acceptance of card payments among small businesses has risen sharply in Germany over the past year, but differs significantly depending on the industry.

A total of 69 percent of companies with less than 10 million euros in sales and fewer than 50 employees now accept debit or credit card payments. This is an increase of 15 percentage points compared to 2021. This is the result of a recent study commissioned by Visa, for which the market research company Dynata surveyed 805 small businesses in Germany.

As advantages of card payments, the companies surveyed say that they are less complicated than other payment methods (65 percent), that they receive their money faster than through bank transfers (62 percent) and that payment default risks are lower (61 percent).

Six out of ten (60 percent) companies also notice that customers spend more money by card. This makes card payments attractive, as many companies have felt economic pressure in the past year. Almost half (45 percent) experienced an increase in costs in 2022 as a result of the crisis, and one in three companies (32 percent) increased their prices for this reason.

One in five suffered from declining purchases (22 percent), and just as many felt the effects of supply bottlenecks (20 percent).

"Small businesses are responding to the challenging economic situation by, among other things, improving the customer experience and offering additional digital payment options," says Jürgen Schübel, who is responsible for connecting merchants to the global payment network at Visa in Central Europe.

"As our study shows, the introduction of card acceptance can also contribute to increasing sales." For example, every second company (47 percent) stated that they had recorded sales growth of between 6 and 15 percent after the introduction of card acceptance.