Small Businesses Turn Away from Banks for Credit Card Processing - eMarketer

Newsletters Sign-Up

Plans & Pricing

Does My Company Subscribe?

Small Businesses Turn Away from Banks for Credit Card Processing

Nonbank options more widespread

August 1, 2017

As credit card processing options expand, banks appear to be losing out to nonbank platforms when it comes to providing transaction services to small businesses.

A May 2017 survey by Mercator Advisory Group found that more than three-quarters of US small businesses surveyed said they use a nonbank platform to process credit and debit card payments. By comparison, 59% said they use a merchant bank.

Organizations that Provide US SMBs with Services to Accept Credit/Debit Card Payments, by Company Size*, May 2017 (% of respondents)

Some 1,600 US small businesses with annual sales of $500,000 to $5 million were surveyed.

The single most common option for payment servicing was merchant banks, followed by “point of sale (POS) terminal provider,” PayPal and other options. But in aggregate, POS providers, PayPal, Square and other nonbank options added up to a greater percentage than banks.

“Square is more popular with the smaller-sized businesses because it is often considered easier to set up and a less expensive option for small businesses with in-store operations,” said Karen Augustine, senior manager of primary data services at Mercator Advisory Group.

Mercator noted that small businesses generally need a wide array of services that are also required by larger merchants, such as couponing and mobile receipts. And third-party transaction providers often offer smaller merchants those ancillary services, it noted.

“No matter what the size segment, the complexity of the services needed by small businesses makes third-party nonbanks more attractive,” Augustine said.

Monica Melton


  • Go beyond the articles:

    eMarketer Products

    You've never experienced research like this.

  • Hear from our clients:

    Customer Stories

    Nearly all Fortune 500 companies rely on us.

  • Want to learn more?

    Contact Us

    Inquire about corporate subscriptions today.