Around half (48%) of UK small businesses (SME) are using smartphones for email or to log on to the Internet for business and payments, with a further nine per cent planning to adopt the technology this year, according to a quarterly survey of British SMEs by The Open University Business School, Barclays and accountancy body ACCA.
The surge in uptake of Web-connected smartphones by the small business sector is pushing paper-based processing and cash usage to the margins in more agile SMEs, says Steve Cooper, managing director of Barclays Business.
"We've reached a point where smartphones are running many of the applications that once needed a decently powered laptop. Businesses can log-on, make payments, send through an invoice, do their word-processing and catch up on emails while standing at a patisserie in Lille," he says. "With around half of businesses already accepting or making payments over the Internet, smartphone use looks set to accelerate the trend towards a cashless society."