Jarrad Lawford 18 July - 5 min read
How many times did you or your customers pay for a product with cash in the last six months?
One of the most visual changes to business from COVID-19 is the plastic screens separating customers from workers and the preference for contactless payments. Cash payments are decreasing in popularity as it becomes a redundant rarity in retail transactions.
Many retailers, in an attempt to stop the spread of Covid-19, now refuse to accept cash payments due to hygiene risks.
While the seemingly overnight end to cash payments appears sudden, there are other factors behind the scenes playing into the decline. Traditional factors such as counterfeiting, theft and a slower payment process have been rolling the wheels towards a cashless society for decades.
Before the pandemic, Australia was already predicted to be cashless by 2022. We’re currently the fourth highest worldwide user of contactless payments.
Yes, contactless payment methods such as pay-and-wave, mobile electronic apps, after-pay and even crypto-currencies are faster, more secure and gaining popularity.However, there can be flaws in implementing a completely digital payment system within your business.
Before considering going cashless with your business, it’s important to weigh the benefits and the potential downsides to determine the best way to approach a transition to digital payments.
In April, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) reported more than 500,000 customers still actively use a passbook or transaction account with no linked debit card.
It means a small portion of Aussies still purchase their goods and services with cash or EFTPOS cards that don’t have debit capabilities, so they can’t shop online or over the phone.
Not only is cash still used by Australian consumers, but it also remains the only reliable backup for when digital payment services glitch or crash.
Many lower-income and older citizens also still frequently withdraw cash from their branch and do not have any cards linked to their account.
One example of a country experiencing cashless headaches is Sweden. It is commonly cited as the most cashless country worldwide and was already almost completely digital with payments before the pandemic.
Sweden is now concerned they went too hard too early with a cashless society and the rapid switch caused consequences for businesses nation-wide.
The main catalyst was that Swedish banks make no profits on cash purchases and ATM’s are pricey to manage and operate. They had no intentions of keeping cash payments alive.
While a majority of Swedes gladly jumped to a cashless society, many communities such as the elderly and disabled struggled with the digital transition.
Some citizens have been forced to cease buying items because they couldn’t access cash, to the point where their banks were forced back into providing a minimal amount of cash services.
Australia might be on a similar digital-trajectory, but we’re still clinging to cash. When the pandemic was declared, many Australians rushed to their bank and withdrew massive amounts of cash as a safety net.
This means Cash Payments will still pop up in your business for the foreseeable future, although there are still many reasons why more merchants are opting to implement contactless payments.
One major reason is that consumers are increasingly veering away from cash due to concerns it causes the spread of illness. This trend was apparent even before COVID surfaced.
Even credit cards require you to physically touch other devices. More people are gravitating towards contactless payment options such as tap-and-go or mobile payments (Apple and Samsung Pay).
If you’re not offering these payment methods to customers in-store, now is the time to do so. They are faster and safer methods of paying.
Investing in hardware that can handle contactless payments is made easier with Point Of Sale systems that offer more payment options and connect to card processors instantly.
This provides a seamless payment experience and reduces the need for manual reconciliation and extra admin work at your end.
Allowing your shoppers streamlined ordering and fulfilment processes with limited contact. It’s why businesses have opted to sell online during COVID-19, which has seen huge spikes in eCommerce worldwide.
Taking orders online or through SMS also helps you generate sales while maintaining direct contact with your customers.
While you can’t please everyone if you go completely digital or contactless with your payments, most shoppers will adapt. They will also feel more at ease knowing your business is looking out for their health and safety.
COVID-19 won’t be around forever, but contactless shopping is here to stay.
Below are some of the contactless payments our software supports. Contact our team on the details below to empower your business with faster, safer and more flexible payment options.
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