Cash Vs. Card – Why Cash-Only Businesses are Falling Behind

If you looked back ten years ago, you’d find that a lot of businesses would only take cash. Card payments used to be incredibly rare, whereas now almost everyone seems to be paying with a credit or debit card. This means many cash-only businesses are losing out on a lot of profit – read on to find out why, and what you can do to change it.


Card Payments Reach a Wider Audience

Debit and credit card payments are used by most people nowadays – whereas before, usually card was only used for larger purchases, they are more used now than cash, and can account for nearly 80% of total retail sales. Considering such a wide use of cards, this means those who don’t take card payments are missing out on a huge number of target customers, and thus losing a huge amount of profit. This is even more clear considering that since payment via card is now the most popular way to pay, many people just don’t carry cash on them anymore. This means that once you’ve done the hard work of drawing a customer in and persuading them to purchase a product, they may not go through with it purely because they don’t have the means to purchase, and thus leaving you without a sale.

This is even more important if your business is targeted towards younger people. With the rise of services such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet, the reliance on card payments is even stronger for those who are younger, meaning opting for a cash-only service is bound to push a lot of your target audience away. Introducing card payments allows you to appeal to a much wider variety of people, including both the growing population who may still want to pay with cash, but also the younger generation who are more likely to want to carry out a card transaction.


Card Payments are More Secure

Although cash on the surface may seem like a simpler option, as the profit you’re handling is right in front of you, it can also create a lot of problems. Cash comes with many more concerns that you’re unlikely to find with card – there are much greater opportunities for theft, miscounting, and misconduct, as cash is much easier to lose track of (think Uncle Billy in It’s a Wonderful Life).

Card payments are all made over a secure network, utilising databases that are at low risk of security breaches so you can be sure your money is safe. This also means using computers and other technology to work out important data such as your total income and profits. This is useful not only because you avoid the risk of miscounting your money, but it’s not necessary to do this yourself, meaning you can save a lot of time and resources and put these into other areas, improving the efficiency and running of your business. It also means you can gather a lot of data easily and be more prepared in planning the future of your business, which products are selling more, and how you can develop further to make the most money.


Expansion is Much Easier

Including card transactions as a method of payment for your business opens up countless doors of opportunity. If your business is the kind to get involved in markets, festivals, or fairs, you can make it much easier for potential customers to buy your product, or even make larger purchases than if they were just carrying a small amount of cash. Taking a card reader with you means you can open up your opportunities, and also give customers a positive feeling towards your company and its effort to make things simpler for them.

If you’re interested in expansion on a larger scale and are considering setting up shop in other countries, then introducing card transactions is almost a necessity. Taking in cash in other countries means you’ll potentially be taking in different currencies, meaning not only is there a wait and potential loss of money converting these currencies to your own, but it also means your data and figures are always outdated. Using card payments means you can get a speedy conversion between their currency and your currency, and thus get data much quicker. This not only allows you to avoid the complications of converting currency, but also allows you to keep up to date with how businesses, shops, and products are doing, allowing you to plan ahead and make the best moves for your business.


Card Payments Allow You to Introduce Schemes

There may be an option within your business to include a membership or subscription to a particular service. A famous example of this is Graze, who offer healthy snacks delivered to your door for a monthly fee. This is much easier to carry out via card, but impossible to maintain by cash – no customer is going to want to go in-store every month to pay for a membership, and the high price of annual memberships can often put potential customers off. Not only does it allow the introduction of schemes, but these schemes can act as an appealing part of your business in terms of attracting new customers. Advertising a monthly service for a good-value price will bring in new customers and grow interest in your company, allowing your business to widen its audience and develop further. This would be impossible with purely cash payments!


So, How Do I Move on from Cash-Only?

If your business is cash-only, moving to accepting card payments is a vital step in keeping your business alive, and can only bring positive changes to your business. The best part is that it’s incredibly simple to do!

The first thing you need to do is find card readers that will make this process easy and smooth to include in your business. It’s important to look for a reputable company like UTP that offers quick conversion and transaction times but is easy to use, and simple to connect to your systems. It’s also important for the card company you opt for to have a good technical support team on hand (preferably in-country rather than sourced overseas). This is especially so if it’s your first time working with card machines, as it’s likely problems will occur. If they are not solved quickly, these problems could cause your business to halt altogether, losing you valuable time and money. UTP has all of this, and also works alongside one of the biggest financial companies, Barclaycard, meaning you can have trust in the process and know that your money is safe and secure.

Once you have everything set up, make sure you advertise that card payments are now available with your business! This will delight old customers and intrigue new customers, and possibly even attract those who had been dismayed before by lack of payment options. Utilising card transactions in your marketing is another great way to reach potential customers and allow you to develop even further.

Cash-only businesses will soon become a thing of the past – and we’ve listed the main reasons why! Don’t let your business become history – make sure your business is utilising card payments, and allow them to pave the way to your future success.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.