Data breaches are increasingly, and alarmingly, common—for big companies and small businesses alike. And for smaller businesses, the effects of these breaches can be devastating. A recent Bank of America survey showed that nearly 40 percent of small businesses that experienced a data breach lost more than $50,000 in lost sales and attempts to mitigate the damage caused by the breach.
What’s more, 22 percent of consumers who’d experienced having their personal data hacked said they would avoid shopping at a business that had experienced a breach of their data security. This makes it vital that small businesses focus on implementing security measures that protect consumers and will keep their private data private.
The Bank of America’s annual Small Business Payments Spotlight is meant to provide small businesses with information that will assist them in navigating the payments world and growing their businesses. It highlights trends in payments as well as uncovering relevant findings.
Mobile checkout leads the way
Besides the focus on data breaches and security, this year’s report showed an increasing numbers of both business owners and consumers relying on mobile devices and using them to make the shopping and checkout experience easier. Thirty-five percent of consumers surveyed said they refuse to stand in line at a brick-and-mortar store when they could use their mobile device to make their purchase.
Credit and debit reign over cash
When it comes to payment methods, credit and debit cards are most popular, whether online or in-store. Part of the reason for the decline of cash payments could be the increasing popularity of mobile shopping and checkout, which supports credit card and debit card payments, as well as prepaid card payments. More and more small businesses are taking note of this and offering digital payment options.
Flexibility is key
The best thing for small businesses is to stay flexible, the study indicates. Offering digital payments as well as taking cash, and accepting payments from a number of different credit card networks, gives consumers the greatest number of options when making a purchase.