Sales Worsened Since COVID Onset

Sales for 43 per cent of Canadian small businesses have worsened since the onset of COVID-19, says Payments Canada. Additionally, when it comes to access to funding, 21 per cent report it had worsened, 34 per cent report that cash flow management had been adversely impacted, and 35 per cent of businesses report that employee recruitment challenges had worsened. However, Canadian small businesses are optimistic about the economic outlook with 42 per cent believing the Canadian economy will be in better shape 12 months from now, 38 per cent saying it will be the same, and 20 per cent believing it will be in worse shape. Furthermore, businesses believe the pandemic has accelerated payment preferences to digital and contactless. Forty-seven per cent of small businesses believe that customers now prefer to make payments using contactless cards by tapping debit or credit card on a payment terminal, 43 per cent say customers prefer online payment methods, and 38 per cent say consumers prefer using a digital wallet, like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. Also, businesses reported an increase in fraudulent, cyber criminal, or suspicious activity, with 45 per cent saying there was an increase in fraudulent attempts and 41 per cent noticing an increase in attempts directed through text messages via smartphone or mobile device. Nevertheless, businesses feel relatively aware and confident in protecting themselves against payment scams. More than half say they’re more aware of how to recognize fraud scams and are more aware about how to protect against payment fraud scams.