Small Business PaymentsInsights

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Payment Cards and B2B Payments: Riding a Wave of Positivity

U.S. small businesses have a positive outlook in 2019

Mercator Advisory Group new survey research finds that U.S. small businesses foresee growth for their companies in revenue, profitability, and employment.

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Mercator Advisory Group’s new Insight Summary Report, Payment Cards and B2B Payments: Riding a Wave of Positivity, reveals that U.S. small businesses are largely positive about the prospects for the future of their respective firms with regard to revenues, profitability, and employment. The report is the first of three from Mercator’s annual Small Business Payments and Banking Survey Series, a part of Mercator’s Primary Data Service. It is based on findings from Mercator Advisory Group’s online survey of 2,002 U.S. small businesses fielded in March and April 2019.

The survey’s charts show the primary payment methods used by type, and they reveal attitudes toward cash flow and line of credit. The findings include small businesses’ criteria for choosing a new credit card for the business, which differ by size of firm and indicate the average number of cards held per company.

“Now is a good time for those who work with small businesses to approach them for new opportunities. Projections for revenue and profitability are fairly high. There are definitely opportunities for financial institutions and others to get involved with small businesses,” states the author of the report, Pete Reville, Director of Primary Data Services including Small Business Monitor Survey Series at Mercator Advisory Group.

Companies mentioned in the report include: American Express, Discover, Kabbage, Lending Club, Mastercard, OnDeck Capital, PayPal, Prosper, and Visa.

Highlights of this report include:

  • Small businesses use their business cards for many different payments, but they are most likely to use their business cards for T&E (73%) and Procurement (64%).

  • While all small business value lower pricing and good service, larger companies are looking for a more sophisticated set of card features.

  • About one-half of small businesses report that their business card balance is usually not (24%) or occasionally not (28%) paid in full each month.

  • Only about one-fifth (22%) of small businesses allow employees with cards to keep rewards earned on those cards.

  • About one quarter (26%) of small businesses have a loan with an alternative lender. Their primary criteria for choosing an alternative lender are ease of application (43%) and the speed with which they get their funding (32%).