While more small and medium-sized enterprises have installed card terminals, their turnover through card payments is decreasing.
This paradox is partly explained by the common practice of businesses not issuing a receipt at all, sending transactions into the black hole of tax evasion, as well as a more recent phenomenon: giving customers a discount and a receipt (for a smaller amount) if the customer pays in cash rather than by card.
According to data that the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen & Merchants (GSEVEE) presented on Thursday regarding its economic sentiment survey among SMEs, although 80.1 percent of the businesses have installed a card terminal, they only get 28.2 percent of their turnover through card payments. Interestingly, in the previous survey conducted in July 2017, while 65.3 percent of SMEs had installed a card terminal, their share of turnover via cards had been considerably higher, at 32.5 percent. The survey before that, in February 2017, had pointed to a rate of 33.22 percent.
GSEVEE officials attributed these figures to the fact that very small enterprises have limited liquidity and are in immediate need of cash; when payments are made with cards they have to wait up to three days before the money appears in their accounts. This is common among smaller firms that conduct product purchases at a greater frequency, as they make small orders and do not have a large stock of merchandise.
Another issue is undeclared entrepreneurship, with businesspeople shutting down their companies, mainly for tax and social security reasons, but carry on their business activity without declaring it anywhere.