The UK's small businesses are failing to embrace mobile point-of-sale (POS) tools despite awareness of the technology continuing to grow, a study has found.
In a survey of over a thousand micro-businesses (those employing one to nine workers), only 2% were using MPOS technology, which enable businesses to accept a card payment using a smartphone instead of a traditional fixed point-of-sale terminal, to accept non-cash payments, despite half of the companies surveyed being aware of it.
Several major issues were identified as the cause of this slow adoption, particularly the length of time taken by regular POS and current MPOS systems to settle payments, with one in ten saying they had missed sales because they don't have the required payment capability.
Existing systems often take between seven and ten days to process payments, slowing down the cash flow which is essential for many businesses to grow and expand. Security was also identified as a major concern for businesses, with over half of those surveyed raising concern, as was connectivity of the MPOS devices (29%).
The need for multi-channel payments was identified as a key factor for the future of many businesses, with nearly half of those surveyed said this would be key to growth in the future, and 38% of respondents say they will adopt MPOS in the near future as long as their concerns are addressed.
The findings, from payment service company Kalixa, come 18 months after the first UK MPOS was released by iZettle, which has gone on to partner with the likes of PayPal. Kalixa is looking to boost MPOS adoption in the UK with the launch of Kalixa Pro, which it says is a low-cost payment solution for small businesses which also includes an MPOS device.
The pay as you go service, which has no monthly contract or annual fees, but charges 1.99% card fees for every transaction, will also allow businesses to access and make payments across all their settled funds using a prepaid MasterCard.
"Micro-businesses are missing sales and face delayed settlement, with many citing current payment technology as the culprit and mobile as part of the solution. Yet market adoption simply isn't there," said Colin Swain, head of product, innovation and insight at Kalixa Group.
"We listened to what small businesses needed and have launched a unique service proposition that addresses these needs. We're focused on helping to solve the cash flow challenge and provide merchants with an integrated service that takes care of all their payment needs - whether it's making or accepting payments via mobile, online or on the high street.