Cashless payments are grasping an ever-increasing percentage of the market and the potential to go cashless isn’t in the too distant future. “In 2018, cashless transactions overtook cash as the most popular method of payment in the UK” (fashionunited.uk). With the current trend, cashless payments could take over a huge majority of the market in a very short timeline. However, have you heard about countries planning on what happens after they go cashless? Examples of countries that have attempted varying degrees of being cashless are Sweden and India, both have incurred varying success and difficulties. (More information of these case studies at thebalance.com).
Clearly, there are positives from using cashless payments or we wouldn’t see it grow to overtake cash payments: it’s quicker, more efficient, reduces tax evasion and illicit finance, convenient and less risk of staff in shops being at risk of a violent robbery (finder.com). The majority of these positives are desirable factors that the consumer wants, to quicken their customer experience and reduce queuing times, there are a multitude of other benefits that I haven’t highlighted as well. But there are also problems highlighted which need consideration and planning for to make sure the opportunity is equal for all and some people aren’t alienated or left behind like rural communities (where signal and service is not reliable), the poor, and the elderly who would all have issues in a cashless community.
As you can see from above there are positives and negatives, and these are just a few highlighted whilst there is a multitude of other variables for both sides. Some people believe that using just contactless will cut off potential customer revenue.
It is still a bold step to commit to going completely cashless. As many people will still want the option to pay in cash. Therefore, it can be intimidating to withdraw the cash payment option. Tottenham Hotspur are an example of a business that has taken this step into the cashless. They have recently opened their “new innovative stadium and have gone completely cashless” (wirelessterminalsolutions.co.uk) because they think it will improve service and queue times in the stadium. Recently other clubs have jumped on this bandwagon; Crystal Palace has adopted cashless payments as well. However, these are stadiums that don’t have customers every day, therefore it is easier for people to be aware of this niche factor and they can adapt to this, whilst other businesses such as stores, and restaurants will find it harder to change over.
In conclusion, the cashless sector is growing and seems to be continual growth, this means as a business or consumer you need to make yourself aware of this and plan carefully your future steps. Overall cashless is helping to improve the customer experience and speed up shopping. Going completely cashless may seem intimidating but can work for certain industries or businesses and there are only going to be an increasing number of examples. However, you shouldn’t just go cashless as others are, research your demographics, industry and analyse to see if it’s worth it for your business. The UK government also needs to review this with careful consideration and plan what needs to happen as they don’t want to alienate and hinder the poor, elderly and disabled resulting in inequality. As well as this, once they have gone cashless, there may be a struggle to implement cash back into the economy if there are any problems.
More information at: