More Small Businesses Are Going Cashless

In the grand scheme of things, cash is far from dead. That said it seems more and more small businesses are embracing other forms of payment and shunning the “king.” As Forbes reports, despite the costs associated with processing credit card transactions, some business owners have discovered operational benefits to going cashless.

One of the main arguments for ditching cash transactions is that it enhances the speed of service. In theory it takes less time to process card transactions than it does to give change (although slow EMV chip readers could still throw a wrench into the works). Because of this, fast-casual restaurants have been one of the largest sectors to go cashless in a bid to get more customers through the door in less time.

While speed may be the biggest factor, there are some other benefits to cashlessness as well. For example, with no cash as part of the equation, tills cannot be shorted nor can customers receive the wrong amount of change. Similarly business owners need not worry about employee thefts, robberies, or the dangers of transporting large amounts of money. Finally, operating a cashless business can reduce labor hours as there’s no need to do cash pulls, deposits, or prep tills. Businesses that employ armored car pickups can also save on that service as well. These savings can help negate the various transaction fees businesses will need to pay for credit card processing.

Given these benefits, the idea of going cashless has caught on in a few ways recently. For one, Visa launched an initiative last year incentivizing such conversions by offering businesses up to $10,000 to make the switch. Meanwhile KPCC notes that businesses ranging from the restaurant chain Tender Greens to the hair salon Dry Bar have stopped accepting cash. It’s also not just small businesses that are testing cashlessness as the Walt Disney World resort recently launched a pilot program at one of their hotels, making it so that guests could only pay for services and other goods with cards or digital payments.

Although cashless businesses are on the rise, it’s important to note that the move might not be right for every small business. While it may make sense for high-trafficked quick service locations to sacrifice cash in the name of service speed, other restaurants or different types of business may find pushback from customers — the majority of whom are still skeptical about the prospects of a cashless future. Therefore, before jumping onboard the cashless trend, be sure to pay close attention to what your current customers want and be ready to make exceptions in order to win over your guests.

Author

Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded DyerNews.com in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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