In this expanded edition of the CardFlight Small Business Report, we check in on the recent growth of card-present transactions, as many states have lifted the majority of social distancing restrictions over the past several months.
Then, we take a look at last week's small business performance (July 19–25, 2021).
The CardFlight Small Business Report analyzes sales performance and emerging trends among small businesses in the United States.
The report has been featured in and/or cited by The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Digital Transactions, PaymentsJournal, and PaymentsSource.
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CardFlight has been tracking the card-present transaction counts since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2020.
During the initial lockdown, card-present transaction counts reached levels as low as 64% below the pre-COVID baseline. Card-present transactions are now 83% above the pre-COVID baseline.
As a reminder, we use the following definitions for card-present and card-not-present transactions:
Since March, 2021 — the growth in card-present transaction counts are outpacing their card-not-present counterpart. Card-present transactions are up 2.1% vs an increase of 0.9% for card-not-present transactions.
Of the three card-present transaction methods we track in this report, transactions accepted via dipped and tapped methods lead the way, growing 2.0% and 3.3% per week (respectively) since early March 2021.
The mix of card-present transaction counts has changed significantly. As of last week, over 10% of card-present transaction counts are tapped, up from 2.7% in March, 2020.
While the overall shift in card-present transaction methods has been consistent across business categories, merchants in the Food & Drink category have seen the greatest change in tapped transaction from baseline levels ( up 853%).
First, we look at the change in week-over-week small business performance by analyzing change in overall sales, number of transactions per business, and more.
This metric compares change in sales at US small businesses from the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020 over the preceding eight weeks.
The transaction count metric represents the total number of transactions processed by the small businesses in our sample.
In this section of the CardFlight Small Business Report, we take a closer look at small business performance by business category.
The two charts below show change in sales and transaction counts at US small businesses in the Food and Drink category from the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020 over the preceding eight weeks.
The two charts below show change in sales and transaction counts at US small businesses in the Retail category from the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020 over the preceding eight weeks.
The two charts below show change in sales and transaction counts at US small businesses in the Services category from the pre-COVID baseline week of March 2–8, 2020 over the preceding eight weeks.
Next, we take a look at the month-over-month changes to sales, transaction counts, and number of active merchants at US small businesses. This analysis is based on "whole month" comparisons, using March 2020 as the baseline month.
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The CardFlight Small Business Report is intended to provide insights into ongoing sales performance, trends, predictions, and unique analysis of US small businesses.
The report has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Bloomberg TV, Business Insider, Digital Transactions, PaymentsJournal, PaymentsSource, and others.
The report is based on analysis of a representative sample of more than two million transactions processed by more than 75,000 small businesses who use SwipeSimple software (the signature product of CardFlight) to accept credit and debit card payments.
To create this report, we analyzed a representative sample of millions of transactions processed by:
The typical SwipeSimple merchant has one to ten employees and less than five locations or mobile service points. The average active merchant represented in this data set processes approximately $130,000 in credit/debit card payments annually. The merchants are a mix of professional and personal service providers, specialty retail establishments, and food and drink purveyors.