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Cashflows finds 96% of SMB payments decision makers lack understanding of payments process


payments research; people behind payments; insights; media; press release; payments data; whitepaper

London, 24th November 2022: Cashflows, the platform that makes it easy for merchants to accept payments, today announces new research highlighting a potential skills gap in the payments industry.

250 payment decision makers within small and medium businesses (SMBs) were asked whether they understand the UK payment industry, with 72% saying that that they did. However, when asked to place different parts of the payment value chain in order, to show how a transaction is handled, 96% answered incorrectly.

In addition, nearly half (43%) of respondents said they are thinking about moving jobs in the next 12 months. This number is significantly higher than the national average (25%) and could spell problems for SMBs over the coming year.

The level of complexity in the payments industry has increased dramatically over the last decade, so it is understandable that decision makers have found it challenging to keep up. But as the cost of doing business continues to ramp up, ensuring the payment process is as efficient as possible could help businesses to minimise spend and maximise profit. Although having the right understanding and training is vital for success, the onus is also on payment providers to take a more transparent approach.

1 in 20 payment decision makers said that they do not enjoy managing payment acceptance – rising to almost 1 in 8 of those in operations roles. When asked why that was, almost half (46%) cited an inability to directly compare different payments providers. This aligns with the lack of transparency identified by the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) this year and is felt most strongly by the finance function. A staggering 100% of those in finance roles said that their lack of enjoyment was because of an inability to directly compare different payments providers due to the different jargon used.

Hannah Fitzsimons, CEO, Cashflows, comments: “The findings of our research into the People Behind Payments are a cause for concern. SMBs are the backbone of the British economy, and its vital that their payments partners are actively supporting them, as well as providing unbiased, educational resources that demystify our increasingly complex industry. Our research makes it very clear that the PSR is right in its ambitions to increase transparency and make it easier to directly compare payment service providers and their solutions.

“Equally, employers have an opportunity to ensure that their employees have the appropriate training and support to be able to thrive in their role. This is important for businesses of all sizes – from the smallest to the very largest – but is essential to ensure commercial success and team satisfaction. Reducing team turnover will be crucial for keeping operational costs low throughout a challenging economic period.”

The data has been published in the first report in Cashflows’ People Behind Payments series, ‘Bridging the knowledge gap’, along with recommendations for how SMBs can best combat these challenges. The report can be downloaded here.