Online Merchants Don't Want Credit-Card Payments

Photograph by Soyhan Erim/Getty Images

In the early days of the consumer Web, online merchants had to get over shoppers’ hesitation to commit credit-card data over the Internet. Now it appears that it’s the merchants who are backing away from online payment forms.

Only 69 percent of small business owners accept credit- and debit-card payments on their websites, according to a survey of business owners’ attitudes toward technology published by the National Small Business Association today. That’s down from 91 percent in 2010. Forty-seven percent of respondents use PayPal for online payments, up from 22 percent in 2010. (Many merchants accept multiple forms of payment online.)

The survey (PDF), which was conducted last month, polled 845 small business owners, some of whom were members of the NSBA. Seventy-nine percent of respondents had fewer than 20 employees; 80 percent reported annual revenue of $5 million or less.

The shift in online payments is “likely due in part to increasing worries about cybersecurity as well as costs and lack of transparency when it comes to swipe fees,” NSBA Chair David Ickert and NSBA Chief Executive Officer Todd McCracken write in a statement accompanying the study.

That view squares with data from a recent survey by Harris Interactive and Bank of the West. Even among business owners who have never been victims of fraud, only 47 percent consider their payment collections methods secure, according to that poll of 803 businesses with less than $10 million in annual revenue.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.