The top concerns of ANZ small businesses revealed

A new study conducted by online payments provider Pin Payments reveals the biggest concerns facing SMEs in Australia and New Zealand.

Cybercrime was top of the concerns for Australian businesses, with 72 per cent having expressing fears about business fraud and 43 per cent stating it was their biggest concern. However, despite these worries, only 36 per cent reported using two-factor authentication as a security measure.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, the biggest concern for small businesses was late payments, with one in two businesses reporting it as a major challenge. Aussie SMEs weren’t far behind, with one in three people saying it is a significant issue.

Economic instability is also a major pain point for SMEs in both countries, with 76 per cent in Australia and 75 per cent in New Zealand reporting that business has been impacted by inflation or rising costs, with customer spending decreasing by over 60 per cent in both countries. Other reasons included high borrowing costs and an inability to expand.

CEO of Pin Payments Chris Dahl said that it is clear to see the real impacts interest rate rises, inflation and increased costs of living is having on small businesses across both countries.

“This has been a growing area of concern for small businesses for years,” Dahl said. “Post-pandemic businesses haven’t had a break, with rising costs crippling opportunities for growth and leading to missed opportunities that impact revenue and, ultimately, business survival.

“In the last 12 months, the Australian Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 7.8 per cent, its highest since 1990,” Dahl added. “Coupled with the difficulties businesses are already facing, that’s concerning for the survival of small businesses which underpin our nation.”

In New Zealand, 50 per cent of businesses admitted that they had no plans to grow or expand. This was in stark contrast to Australia, with about half of the businesses there having plans to scale.

“It’s clear to see from these survey results, that New Zealand small businesses have been hit harder than Australia by recent global economic instability,” Dahl said. “Yet, New Zealand is a nation made up of small businesses, with over 5 million SMBs, making their survival vital to the country’s vibrant culture and GDP.”

Recruitment sentiments between the two countries were another indicator of the disproportionate impacts of inflation, with Australian businesses being 27 per cent more likely to hire in 2024 than New Zealand.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty for small businesses in both countries right now which leads to a halt in innovation and growth. Our nations share a union and often work side by side, with an overlap in businesses and staff. Therefore, the survival and support of the start-up and [small-business] ecosystems in both countries is vital,” Dahl concluded.