In a volatile, unpredictable global economy, there are very few businesses – large or small – unaffected by the stresses and challenges this brings. But for small businesses in particular, these challenges can be unique, and leave them especially vulnerable to collapse.
According to a US Bank study, a significant cause of the failure of small businesses is problems with cash flow – with it accounting for a shocking 82% of failed business ventures. It’s in everyone’s interest for small businesses to succeed as, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), they drive substantial economic growth through creating so many jobs.
Cash flow problems aren’t just related to the amounts coming in – timing is fundamental too. Businesses that operate using an invoicing system are tied into waiting for these invoices being paid, with the invoices themselves usually only dispatched when a particular piece of work has been completed. Then there is the debate over point-of-sale transactions: cash or credit/debit card?
Here there is a further challenge for small businesses, many of whom prefer cash transactions because, of course, it’s free – unlike credit and debit card payments, which attract processing fees. There are many different types of fees that businesses may have to pay, and for very small businesses this is further complicated by the need to lay down a minimum purchase amount for customers. As well as fees, there are a number of other issues to consider, such as security, understanding the terminology, and meeting the minimum revenue requirements of credit card firms.
“We know only too well how hard it is to survive as a small business, especially in today’s economic climate,” says a spokesperson for iWallet, a mobile payment processing service. “Cash is becoming less popular in society in general, with shoppers – particularly the young – expecting at least a card payment facility as standard.
“Of course, card payments attract processing fees, which is another burden for small businesses. At iWallet, we offer something better – a mobile payment processing system that is completely free for annual transactions up to $10 million. And for anything over that, it’s a small fee of 0.3%.
“At iWallet we really believe in supporting small businesses, and this is why we also offer, for a limited time, free promotion on Facebook and Instagram for any businesses that sign up with us.”
Payments via mobile phone are rapidly increasing, with a 2017 study of consumer habits in nine countries finding that 18% of people had made a physical in-store purchase using their mobile phone.
The spokesperson added: “Customers around the world are coming round to the benefits of the mobile wallet. With the iWallet app, customers can forget about needing the right change or the security risks of carrying around large amounts of cash – it’s a 1-click payment that is speedy and safe. The iWallet app has industry standard levels of security, meaning that not even we at iWallet see customers’ bank details.
“And with more businesses signing up to this form of payment, it really is win-win for customers and businesses. You have convenience, security, reliability and simplicity all rolled into one cutting-edge service, and with processing fees either very low or removed altogether, it’s a significant financial boost to the wellbeing of small businesses.”