Australian SMEs not prepared for chip and PIN mandate: PayPal

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PayPal Australia has released new research revealing over half (54%) of Australian small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) do not accept chip and PIN credit and debit payments, despite an industry-wide move to mandate the technology and phase-out signature verification in Australia.

The results come as PayPal announces the general availability of PayPal Here, an app and Bluetooth enabled chip and PIN card reader engineered for Australian small businesses, service providers and casual sellers. PayPal Here turns a smartphone into a complete payments solution, allowing businesses to not only accept MasterCard and Visa credit and debit card payments, but to generate and distribute invoices and send receipts.

In less than two months, on August 1, chip and PIN technology will be mandated across all cards and payments terminals in Australia. However, SMEs appear unprepared for the change, with two in three (64%) SMEs admitting they don’t know what chip and PIN technology means.

Despite credit card payments being the second most common payment method used by customers, more than a third (36%) of SMEs who currently accept credit card payments say they do not accept chip and PIN payments.

“We need to ensure that Australian small businesses are armed with the technology and resources needed to adapt to the new payment landscape and can keep up with the shifts in consumer behaviour at the checkout,” Andrew Rechtman, Senior Director of SMB, Retail and Strategy at PayPal Australia, said.

“PayPal Here has been designed to ensure Aussie businesses of every size are prepared for the new chip and PIN mandate in August and are equipped to capture every sale, regardless of the payment method.”

While the results revealed that cash is still ‘king,’ over 60% of SMEs surveyed agree that cash-only businesses will be a thing of the past. Customer preference for credit and debit card payments is driving this prediction, with nine in 10 (87%) SME owners agreeing that people now want to use credit cards for much smaller purchase amounts.

Australian SMEs are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to run their business, with three quarters (77%) saying that a smartphone makes it easier to stay up-to-date on everything that’s happening in their business.

When it comes to payments, the majority of SMEs think mobile payments will be a larger proportion of their business in five years’ time – but only one in 10 SMEs (11%) have purchased a device to allow them to accept smartphone card payments. When asked if an all-in-one, chip and PIN smartphone payment device, like PayPal Here, would be useful to their business, nearly 70 per cent of SME owners agreed.

“The smartphone has well and truly become the mission control device for running a small business, yet many SMEs still haven’t taken up the opportunity of a mobile checkout,” Mr. Rechtman commented.
“Australian businesses are now able to set up shop almost anywhere, operating from market stalls, ute trays, garages – wherever their customers may be. PayPal Here provides a flexible solution that enables businesses to easily adapt to the new payments landscape with little fuss or hassle,” he added.

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