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78% of SMBs don’t know how to switch payments provider, despite 52% wanting to


research report; challenge to change; payments; fintech; switching payments; better payments; PSR

London, 1st December: Cashflows, the platform that makes it easy for merchants to accept payments, today announces that, despite more than half (52%) of SMBs indicating that they would be open to switching payments providers, 78% do not know how to do so.

The data suggests that businesses could be trapped in relationships with providers unfit to serve their needs at a time when rising business costs mean efficiency and competitive pricing in the payments process are more important than ever. Cashflows asked 250 payment decision makers within small and medium businesses (SMBs) about how they would go about changing payments provider if needing to do so. When asked whether they knew where to find impartial information about acquirers, 25% said they don’t look anywhere and 17% admitted to not knowing where to look.

Nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents said that poor customer service would be a trigger for them to switch. In addition, over a quarter (25%) called out higher than acceptable levels of technical downtime as a potential reason to make a move.

However, less than a third said their payments partners had been helpful (29%), understanding (25%) or educational (25%) while less than a quarter said they had been kind (22%). Shockingly, many went on to list examples of where their payments provider had been actively unhelpful in the past, including being in a hurry to get off the phone (16%), making them feel they weren’t a priority (13%), or being rude (11%).

When asked about the qualities that are most important, reliability (40%) and fast settlement (35%) came out on top, with a fairly even split across access to alternative payment methods (30%), excellent customer service (28%), simple and comprehensive data and reporting tools (28%), transparent costs (26%) and access to a dedicated account manager (24%).

Paul Clarke, Chief Product and Innovation Officer at Cashflows, said, “The data we’ve uncovered is disappointing. SMBs are vital to the industry and the UK economy as a whole so they must be considered and valued.

"SMBs must have access to unbiased and impartial information so they can make informed decisions for their businesses. This aligns with the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) recent report, outlining a need to increase access, choice, and competition in the payments industry to benefit SMBs. Hopefully, the changes the PSR has outlined should help build a fairer payments industry to fit business needs.”

The data has been published in the second report in the People Behind Payments series The Challenge to Change. The report can be downloaded here. Further chapters will be released in the coming weeks.