Accepting plastic payments crucial as consumer spending rises
August 05, 2013

Small and medium-sized businesses are seeing their revenue increase as the economy continues to improve. Consumer spending has been on the rise in recent months, with CBS News reporting that June experienced the greatest increase in spending in the last four months. According to CBS News, the Commerce Department found consumer spending rose 0.5 percent between May and June.

With consumers purchasing more goods and services, accepting debit and credit cards through integrated payment systems is essential to increasing sales and revenue. Investing in technology such as electronic payment systems or integrated credit card processing allows SMBs to boost their bottom line while providing consumers with multiple purchasing methods, which increases their satisfaction with the retailer.

Consumers spending up across retail markets
According to a new report from Mintel, a supplier of consumer intelligence, American shoppers continue to look for the best deals. The "American Lifestyles 2013 Report" found all 11 evaluated consumer markets saw spending climb. Compared to 2012, dining out rose by 6 percent and in-home food purchases increased by 3 percent.

Despite the high spending levels, many consumers believe they have cut back; 33 percent said they reduced how much they spend when dining out.

Fiona O'Donnell, lifestyles and leisure analyst at Mintel, said while the economy has been slowly improving in recent years, many consumers continue to look for deals to try to decrease their spending.

"Although the country officially exited [the] recession nearly four years ago and consumer expenditures are up, Americans retain a cautious approach toward purchasing and avoid conspicuous consumption," O'Donnell said. "In many categories, consumers have been conditioned by a nearly never-ending cycle of sales, coupon offers, members-only discounts, lower-priced product alternatives, etc., to avoid ever paying full price."

O'Donnell also added that mobile technology is driving consumer shopping up as shoppers look online to find the best prices. The report found the recession caused many consumers to become more aware of product prices and how much money they can save using coupons.

With many consumers looking to save money while still purchasing the goods and services they need, SMBs should take advantage of this by investing in multiple transaction options. More consumers are reaching for plastic at the point of sale, and smaller enterprises can improve their revenue streams by providing customers with numerous purchasing channels, such as electronic payment systems online or mobile payments

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