Best Merchant Services For Small Business In The UK

Elly Team
January 24, 2022

Lockdowns and high-tech have forced consumers to change their lifestyles and shopping habits. As a result, e-commerce transactions and revenue of virtual businesses skyrocketed amid the pandemic. More people got used to buying products and services online and switched to cashless payments.

Nobody can deny that digital transformation happens at the speed of light. Hence, small companies, particularly those operating in retail and hospitality, must introduce progressive business models with far-fetching impacts. They must rethink their payment infrastructure and adopt the best merchant services for small business.

This article explains how SMEs drive the UK economy forward and the various ways they lose money. It also focuses on introducing technology to your business benefit.

The SME Sector In The UK

At the onset of 2021, about 5.5 million small businesses were up and running in the UK. In other words, 99.2% of all business occurs thanks to small and medium enterprises. More so, SMEs account for almost 61% of employment or 16.3 million employees in the country.

Small and medium companies generate 52% or nearly £2.3 trillion of the total turnover in the private sector. The most considerate portion of small companies operate in construction or 16%. About 15% of SMEs engage in professional, scientific, and technical activities. The wholesale and retail trade sector comes third with 10% participation.

As for location, most private businesses operate in London, or about 1 million. The Southeast stands second with 875,000 private sector companies. The Northeast had the lowest number of private sector businesses, or 154,000.

How Did Merchants Survive The Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic wreaked chaos everywhere, and the retail sector was one of the worst-hit industries. Merchants suddenly realised that they must do something to stay afloat and survive the financial tsunami.

The first change came with the rapid adoption of e-wallets and contactless cards instead of cash. Retailers started looking for the best merchant services for small businesses to accept new online payment methods. They also gave technological tools a try to enable various digital payments.

Second, many merchants reassessed checkout conversion and took cross-border payments at lower fees. As a result of the increased volume of online transactions, retailers also ensured their e-shops and websites were highly responsive. 

Finally, flexible retailers introduced several delivery options to their customers. However, the many pickup alternatives, such as BOPIS and BOPAC, required strengthened logistics, staff training, and coordination. Though many struggled to keep the process seamless, it eventually paid off and led to spikes in demand.

How Do Small Businesses Lose Money?

Whether in obvious ways, merchants lose earnings on a regular basis. Fortunately, some losses are due to misperceptions, and with little effort, you can turn them to your benefit.


Refunds can cost small businesses a fortune if handled incorrectly. First, merchants lose revenue from the transaction. Hence, most start-ups that survive on thin margins will have to renounce profits. 

Second, the company has to pay chargeback fees levied by payment processors. Third, the chargeback rate might exceed 1% and force retailers to agree on a costly chargeback mitigation program.


Merchandise returns cause businesses to lose a considerable profit margin. More so, losses will add up when you consider the time and effort spent in processing returns and restocking. Returns also account for extra credit/debit card, transaction, and administrative fees. Also, some returned items must get discounted or discarded, leading to further losses.

Outdated Technology

Besides hindering your upscaling potential and meeting customer demands, outdated technology will result in lost sales. Out-of-date POS systems that don’t enable newer payment types like eWallets and crypto will deter shoppers.

No Online Presence

If your business isn’t online, you’re losing many potential customers. Even if you don’t sell items online, you need a website to tell people your story and share your physical location. Social media is another valuable tool to engage with customers, promote your products, and announce sales. Positive reviews on your website and online will urge people to buy from you.

Turn Technology To Your Advantage

Technology can transform your enterprise into a successful venture if you know how to use it properly. By introducing the best merchant services for small business, you will soon reap the benefits of high-tech solutions.

Consider Web-Based Payments 

Ensure your consumers and collaborators can access straightforward and 100% secure online payment systems like PayPal and Skrill. Unlike traditional bank transfers, web-based transactions are less time-consuming and don’t restrict you in any way.

Plus, encrypted transfers can get completed in minutes. This approach is ideal if you work with vendors, freelancers, and employees from abroad.

Accept Cryptocurrencies

Unlike traditional POS systems, cryptocurrencies bring multifold advantages to small businesses, such as:

  • Lower or no transaction fees. Cryptocurrencies run decentralised, and you won’t pay intermediaries for each transaction.
  • Boosted sales. Small businesses can expand by working with international buyers for whom such products and services were beyond reach. 
  • Consumer preferences. By accepting cryptocurrency, you cater to your clients’ needs. Plus, their information gets an extra protection layer.
  • Merchant protection. Say goodbye to fraudulent chargebacks as crypto payments, like cash, are final. No third party can reverse charges and cut into your profits.


A robust referral program strategy can be the most effective marketing tool. Recommendations from friends and family exceed all levels of advertising and come with a high level of trust. Plus, referral programs can create a never-ending cycle of word-of-mouth marketing that stems from a single customer.

Elly Offers The Best Merchant Services For Small Business

With Elly, you introduce the future of payments to your establishment. Our global POS solution accepts all available payment methods, such as cards, digital, and crypto. On top of that, you will maximise your earning potential thanks to lower transaction fees.

The system features are abundant and, above all, bring value to your company. For example, you can create and run loyalty programs and earn from each referral. Playing ads for your small business will generate extra income, too. All this and much more with a single solution - Elly Smart POS.

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