News & Insight

40% of micro businesses don't accept card

Jack Stratten

With customer demand for digital payments rising, are micro businesses falling behind?

40% of the UK's micro businesses - which are businesses with fewer than 10 employees - do not accept card payments. For businesses with more than 10 employees, only 10% don't take card.

Micro businesses make up more than 96% of all UK business, so these stats serve as a timely reminder that despite growing in popularity and usage, card payments haven't yet conquered the country. But micro businesses must take note: 47% of shoppers say they prefer paying by card, so being a cash-only business could lose you one in every two customers.

Maximising small profits

In 2018, the average annual profit for a micro business was £14,000. This amount jumps to £56,000 for SMEs, which puts into context how tight the margins are for the UK's smallest employers.

Micro businesses are more than twice as likely to have loan applications rejected than SMEs, which adds additional financial pressure. And within this challenging environment, the smallest businesses have to ensure they make the most of the fact that buyers increasingly want more payment options beyond cash. Cash machine availability is declining too, so there's a real opportunity for micro businesses to plug the gap.

Card payment solutions like XLN's are built for small businesses - with different terminal solutions tailored for different business types. Set-up costs are minimal and our transaction rates are far lower than with major banks, which ensures taking cards really pays off. Find out more at