SOURCE: SAGE

Sage

November 03, 2016 09:00 ET

Sage 2017 Payments Landscape Report: Cash costs U.S. Small & Medium Businesses $80.6bn each year

Theft and human error drain profits prompting predictions of a cashless society within 20 years

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Nov 3, 2016) - Sage, the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payments software, today released the results of their sixth annual Payments Landscape report that examines the current and future trends in payments. The study found that the Small & Medium Business segment is losing $80.6bn each year through cash payments.

The report -- which polled businesses and consumers in the U.S. -- found that innovation in payments is being driven by consumer demand. The majority (90 percent) of consumers claim it's important for businesses to offer customers a diverse range of payment methods while 58 percent claim they would be more likely to shop somewhere that offered them multiple ways to pay. Interestingly, older age groups demonstrate a greater willingness to move away from cash, with 59 percent of over 50s saying that they either don't deal in or have little dealings in cash.

Over a quarter (29 percent) of business builders say they have been the target of cash theft by a member of staff, 37 percent admit to losing cash due to human error, while more than half (64 percent) say they spend up to an hour or more counting and transporting cash to the bank each week.1 Additionally, 36 percent of respondents believe cash will become extinct within the next 20 years, with contactless set to be the most popular payment method by 2020.

"Our research proves that cash is bad for business. It's costly and inconvenient, and appetite is growing for more innovative and flexible payment methods," said Paul Bridgewater, Managing Director of Sage Payment Solutions. "The stats we've seen come out of this study are part of a wider trend. We know that cash is in decline. Walmart now allows customers to pay in-store using QR codes; MasterCard has recently launched 'selfie pay' and Alibaba is soon to introduce a virtual reality payment system."

"Payments should be seamless, frictionless -- and more often than not, cashless. Innovation in the sector has never been greater but Small & Medium businesses must keep pace with change. They are the lifeblood of the US economy, and their success is critical to our national growth -- our mission is to help organizations be cash flow confident," stated Bridgewater.

Sage's Payments Landscape report aims to help business leaders get to grips with emerging trends in payments. It includes viewpoints from industry experts as well as those at the coalface, with comment and insight from business leaders adopting to the changing landscape. It addresses:

  • Trends in payments today
  • Drivers for innovation
  • The movement of money in, as well as out
  • Webrooming and the need for omnichannel retailing
  • Security and consumer trust in payments
  • What's next for payments

To find out more or to read the 2017 Sage Payments Landscape Report, visit: http://go.na.sage.com/paymentslandscapereport.

About Sage:
Sage is the market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of the world's entrepreneurs. Sage began as a small business in the UK 30 years ago and over 13000 colleagues now support millions of entrepreneurs across 23 countries as they power the global economy. We reinvent and simplify business accounting through brilliant technology, working with a thriving community of entrepreneurs, business owners, tradespeople, accountants, partners and developers. And as a FTSE 100 business, we are active in supporting our local communities and invest in making a real difference through the philanthropy of the Sage Foundation.

Sage -- a market leader for integrated accounting, payroll and payment systems, supporting the ambition of the world's entrepreneurs. www.sage.com

1 Based on an online survey with 307 small and medium business leaders from across the U.S., conducted by Viga in October 2016.

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