Hertfordshire businesswoman says companies must accept credit card payments

BUSINESSES are being urged to embrace the 21st century’s plastic generation, as a decades old payment method is brought to an end.

From June 30, the UK’s cheque guarantee scheme will cease to be, meaning businesses still accepting cheques after this date face a more uncertain wait for their payment to clear.

That’s why a Hertfordshire business advisor is encouraging companies that haven’t already done so to start accepting credit and debit card payments – and is offering advice on how to cope with the cost of electronic transactions.

Maree Atkinson, a business support advisor for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), says that with the right help, making the transition to plastic is cheap and easy to do.

“It doesn’t need to cost a fortune taking cards as through the buying power of organisations such as the FSB, with its 205,000 members, transaction costs and card machine rentals are much cheaper,” Maree said.

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“Individual businesses can secure preferential rates that they would not get directly from banks.”

The argument for accepting plastic, Maree said, grows ever more compelling – as more people opt to pay for goods and services on credit and debit cards, cheques are already in terminal decline.

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Card transactions are far quicker, and in the case of credit cards, allow buyers to stagger their payments.

“This generally encourages buyers to spend more – meaning more profit for your business.

“Taking plastic enables businesses to match and beat the services of their competitors and gain the edge,” Maree said.

“Saying “I just take cash and cheques” sounds a little old fashioned, plus the credit card sign attracts customers.

“Browsers become buyers, particularly on higher value items and the sale is secured quicker.”

For more information about taking card payments, the FSB preferential reduced rates and other FSB services call Maree Atkinson on 077364 71568 or 01462 451124 or email info@mareeatkinson.com

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