Think “cashless” and “business” in the same sentence, and many would make the negative connotation of business on the edge of crumbling. But in the realm of modern, post-lockdown commerce, this is very seldom the case.
Despite the common misconception, “cashless” no longer equates to a business with no money. The term has evolved to mean business (or even a society) that no longer accepts paper or coin currency.
While this modern business model is still in its infancy, it is very rapidly showing signs of growth. Playing a significant role in this recent growth is the Coronavirus pandemic, which has instigated a change in consumer behavior. Since lockdown, there has been a huge surge in cashless payments spurred by the closure of shops, a preference for online shopping, and government guidance to avoid cash due to a high risk of contamination of the virus.
Many businesses, big and small, have even begun to refuse to accept cash payments throughout the current crisis, with global coffee chain, Costa, among those who have embraced the modern business model due to reduce the risk of contamination.
And so, with society shifting to the world of digital payments as well as developments in technology being delivered at supersonic speed, there’s a good reason for your business to consider going cashless. Let’s explore just some of the benefits of doing so.
1. Improve customer service
A cashless business can enable you to significantly improve your checkout efficiency by serving customers quicker. The typical modern consumer lives a busy lifestyle and does not want to spend time waiting in a lengthy queue to pay for their goods. In response to this growing consumer profile, there has also been a rise in cashier-less stores, such as the leading Amazon Go chain, which has recently offered its till-less technology to other High Street shops.
No waiting in lines, no counting out cash at checkouts; just grab and go. Research has highlighted that the overwhelming majority of retail customers believe this payment technology will make their shopping lives easier when they cross the threshold of a store. And let’s be honest, nothing beats convenience.
2. Build loyal customers through personalized marketing
Cashless payments can also significantly help your marketing efforts through the rich data collected. For example, you can create incentives to encourage repeat visitation via pushing targeted offers direct to the consumer as well as combining a loyalty program that creates value for customers over time.
An example of a global company doing just this is Starbucks. Customers who register and pay via the “My Starbucks Rewards” app are rewarded with benefits such as free refills, special member events, updates on product releases, and much more. The valuable data fed into the app by members is leveraged by the popular coffee chain to deliver personalized marketing efforts and create a uniquely direct relationship with customers that keeps them coming back for more.
3. Lighten up your accounting workload
For many, managing business accounts can be an incredibly frustrating task… especially on those days when after multiple re-counting, the till comes up short and you just simply can’t figure out why. With digital payments, each and every transaction is tracked and recorded. This means less manual work for you, and fewer errors to be made.
Armed with real-time data of business sales, you’ll also be able to spot opportunities for improvements and make informed decisions to increase sales. For example, you may notice you are selling less of a product at certain times of the year, and so you may wish to reduce stock during this time or push marketing.
4. Reduce the risk of theft
Another key benefit is the reduction of theft-related crime. Businesses that keep cash instore are, unfortunately, prime targets for criminals. Take away the key motivator (the cash), and you can minimize the risk of being robbed. Going cashless can put your mind at ease and increase the safety of your employees while keeping your company assets safe and secure.
5. Cater to the nervous, post-lockdown customer
The final point is perhaps the most relevant during the current global crisis. As reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), banknotes may be a vehicle for transmitting Coronavirus. And so, to prevent the spread of the disease, people have been advised to use contactless technology where possible.
Because of this, consumers have increased cautiousness over cash payments, and as a result, not having the option in place for your customers to pay through mobile or card payments will likely turn them away.
Many businesses have taken this growing customer preference onboard and have invested in the very best payment solutions equipped with the latest technology. UTP Group is an example of a leading provider with a range of payment options to cater to all customers.
Cash isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon, but ensuring your clients and consumers have flexible options to pay via contactless and digitally is vital. With the above benefits in mind, you can be well on your way to make an informed decision on whether going cashless if right for your business.