Micro-merchants and the Economy of Tomorrow

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Step aside big corporations, the economy is changing and micro-merchants are the way of the future! While in the past the world has predominantly focused on monopolies and monster companies it seems that there has been a shift in the tides.

Micro-merchants and small entrepreneurs are driving the economy of tomorrow and are in fact, too important to go on being ignored, especially by the likes of payment processors. While the payment industry is developing at a rapid rate and is gradually starting to become more "micro-merchant friendly," there are still some hurdles that these small business owners must overcome in order to get their feet off the ground.

What is a Micro-Merchant?

Micro-merchants are rapidly popping up more and more around the world. For example: In the UK alone micro-businesses account for 33%¹ of overall employment and on a global scale 250 million micro-merchants currently operate². Originally they were seen as a single-person business, however now micro-merchants are typically being categorized as a business with fewer than 10 employees, or businesses that accept smaller to lower value transactions.

While the transactions are considered of "lower-value," micro-merchants’ contribution to the world’s economy is indispensable. In fact, they provide constant stimulation for economic growth, especially succeeding in community based levels. Additionally micro-merchants provide outlets for entrepreneurs, and are more environmentally friendly. Typical examples of micro-merchants or businesses include hair stylists, contractors, food trucks or vendors, etc. While the benefits of these "micro-businesses" are irrefutable, and there is a rather large appeal in becoming one’s own boss, becoming a micro-merchant still has its pain points.

The "Growing Pains" of Becoming a Micro-Merchant

Despite the positive impact of micro-merchants conducting business worldwide, they seem to get the short end of the stick in more ways than one. In fact, going through a cumbersome "growing pains" process is very normal for the average micro-merchant. Accepting payments is the largest hurdle that they will most definitely have to overcome before starting their business. The process of choosing the right payment solution is painful, long and rather tedious.

Everything begins with the onboarding process. Onboarding can be broken down into seven tiresome phases that include:

  • Pre-screening
  • Identification through KYC (Know Your Customer)
  • Merchant history check
  • Business and Operational Analysis
  • Content Analysis
  • Information Security Compliance
  • Credit Risk

While these phases are put into place to prevent the risk of fraud, they are not very user-friendly and often take more time than necessary to complete.

Additionally, payment processors are not designed with micro-merchants in mind and have often underserved these types of entrepreneurs. In the past, micro-merchants have been limited to cash due to high transaction fees, service fees and high rental fees on equipment like POS. And while certain mobile or online platforms have been beneficial like PayPal or Swish, the most popular form of payment is via debit or credit card. Thus, micro-merchants are once again ostracized due to payment processors' lack of consideration.

However, if you are a micro-merchant or entrepreneur there’s no reason to lose all hope. The Surfpay app offers a wide variety of features specifically geared towards the everyday small business owner. From positive onboarding that is stress-free and time sensitive, to our low transactional costs. We want to provide the easiest payment solution to micro-merchants everywhere. For more information about Surfpay sign up for our newsletter below, and make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Linkedin & Twitter for weekly updates!

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