27 April 2017
The cashless future is now. What are your thoughts?
Did you know that we accept all types of card payments, including contactless, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and PayPal? We have done this for years as I firmly believe that all businesses, regardless of size, should move with the times and provide the convenience that their customers are looking for. Today, it really is inexcusable for any business not to accept card payments, especially with the rise of mobile processing units such as Sum Up or iZettle, which are designed specifically for small businesses on the go.
My opinion on this has always been why would any business owner consciously refuse to accept a customer’s willingness to pay for a product or service? Checking our trading patterns, 75% of our customers choose to pay by card. We do encourage card payments as we believe electronic payments are safer, as well as more convenient for both the customer and for us. Accepting cash means ensuring a constant till float balanced with appropriate levels of change, which can be costly in itself. There is also the constant risk of cash being stolen or lost and inevitably, there are always overs/shorts regardless of how careful till operators are.
A quick check with our bank (HSBC), reveals that cash deposits incur a fee to our business of 1% of the deposit value. This is equal to our card processing fees but with the added risk of holding cash and then depositing it in person and does not account for the costs associated with maintaining change levels. There are of course additional costs associated with accepting card payments, such as rental fees for equipment and PCI compliance charges. However, these are fixed costs that as a business, we will incur and absorb whether we accept cash or not as we continue to provide card payment options and bears no impact on the number of card transactions.
For consumers, being cashless means not having to find the nearest ATM, only to discover a fee applies for its usage. Card payments also prevent theft – and by this, I mean customers incorrectly handing over too much money and dishonest merchants pocketing the excess. In service businesses, it’s not uncommon for cash purchases to result in additional tips versus card payments. I’ve often wondered whether the consumer feels subtle pressure in these circumstances to leave a tip, rather than a choice. Most businesses will price their services accordingly to ensure healthy cash flow and wages that reflect skills, eliminating the need for service tips and those that enforce their employees to rely upon tips over and above unacceptably low pay, the ethical choice surely lies with the consumer as to whether they should support a business that engages in these practices.
Moreover, consumers have wider protections when they pay by card and whilst no business would want to encounter increased chargebacks, these exist when consumers are being unfairly served. Debit cards do offer a degree of protection in instances where customers have been let down or have not received the goods or services as described. Those that choose to pay by credit card are offered greater protection for purchases over £100 with Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, again in instances where consumers are left out of pocket by unfair merchants.
Newer payment methods like contactless and mobile payments make paying by card more convenient than ever. Imagine how much quicker queue times could be at high volume traffic businesses like coffee shops if everyone paid by contactless rather than fumbling in their pockets for change and then waiting on the cashier counting the change due in return?
So, at Berserk Computers, we have decided to trial being completely cashless and I’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this. After all, it is 2017 and what else would you expect from an I.T. company to lead the way?
Leave your comments below and share your thoughts. Do you agree or is cash still relevant?