Credit cards are the top payment choice for small businesses, according to a recent survey by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled, The Small Business Payments Market.  When small businesses are asked which of a variety of payment methods their company uses most often, close to half identify credit cards.  One-fifth say their company uses checks most often, while one in six cite debit cards.  About one in 20 or fewer mention various other payment methods.  Mention of credit cards as the most frequently used payment method is widest among companies with sales of $1M to $5M.

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William H. McCracken, CEO of SYNERGISTICS, stated, “The purchase methods available to both consumers and small businesses continue to expand, making it necessary to continually evaluate the payments marketplace.  As these findings indicate, traditional payment methods are still very widely used among small businesses, with credit cards being in the lead position.  Providers should plan to support these payment options for some time to come despite the onslaught of new payment alternatives.  Usage of various innovative alternatives – PayPal, mobile options such as Apple Pay, and business prepaid cards – by small businesses seems to be lagging behind consumer adoption.  However, providers should plan for these new alternatives to grow in usage among small businesses.”

These are among the findings from SYNERGISTICS study, The Small Business Payments Market, featuring online interviews with 616 owners and executives of small businesses with annual sales of $50K-$5M. Industry categories include manufacturing, wholesale, retail, and services.  This study examines small business usage of various payment methods, as well as reaction to innovative and non-traditional alternatives.


ATM users are most concerned with the threat of skimming at the ATM, according to a recent survey by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled, Expanding the Role of ATMs.  When ATM users are asked to identify their concerns regarding usage of ATMs, illegal devices put on ATMs to steal personal information and PINs elicits the widest response, with more than eight in ten expressing concern.  Three-fourths are concerned with being robbed while getting cash at the ATM.  Concern with people in line being able to see their PIN is reported by seven in ten.  Four in ten users are concerned with overdrawing their accounts.  Not being able to remember their PIN is a concern to four in ten.  In terms of the top three security-related concerns, there has been a remarkable consistency in these findings when compared with previous surveys conducted in 2013 and 2010.

When ATM users are asked what is most needed for increased security at ATMs, seven in ten identify surveillance cameras.  An alarm button to alert the police is cited by six in ten.  Almost as many would like privacy screens to shield their information from others.  Bright lighting for usage at night is cited by somewhat more than half.  Four in ten cite finger/handprint identification and the ATM being visible to traffic, while more than one-third mention the ATM being in an enclosure.  The top several mentions in the study are essentially identical to those in previous SYNERGISTICS surveys in 2013 and 2010.

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Genie M. Driskill, COO of SYNERGISTICS, stated, “Recent news reports have renewed and heightened security concerns surrounding the use of ATMs, particularly in regard to ‘skimmers’ that can capture customers’ PINs and account information.  Our findings reveal there has been an ongoing and wide level of concern expressed by consumers about the potential threats encountered when using ATMs.  Financial providers need to address these security concerns as part of any strategy for widening and increasing usage of all types of ATMs – from those providing basic services to those offering enhanced functionality.  Our results indicate that cameras, alarm buttons, privacy screens, and lighting should be featured in improving ATM security.”

These are among the findings from SYNERGISTICS study, Expanding the Role of ATMs, featuring 1,056 online interviews with consumers age 18 or older.  This report examines consumers’ usage of ATMs and their reaction to new applications, innovative services, and new locations.  It assesses the role of the ATM in the delivery channel mix.