The pandemic brought a lot of changes for businesses. Many businesses stopped accepting cash altogether, so fewer and fewer customers are carrying cash with them.
The thing is, it seems cashless payments are here to stay.
But for businesses that have long taken cash over cards, the coming of a ‘cashless society’ can feel like an added pressure after everything they and so many other businesses have been through in the last year. If you’re one of those, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways you can prepare your business for cashless payments – and even benefit from them.
Why are cashless payments a must for your business?
Cashless payments were on the rise even before the pandemic. Statista suggests that by 2023, the value of cashless payments in North America will rise to $198.3 billion.
Ensuring your business can take cashless payments will keep you ahead of the trend and make your business future-proof. But there are other reasons for embracing cashless payments. These include:
Faster and more efficient payments
In 2018, a U.K. supermarket cut queues to just 45 seconds in their new cashless store. Cashless payment speeds up check-out times, which means shorter queues and more efficient employees.
One report suggests that 39% of customers leave businesses empty-handed due to long queues, so anything that will cut queue times is a bonus for you and your customers.
A study by Travis Credit Union suggests that 58% of Americans plan to stop using cash entirely after the pandemic. So if a customer comes to pay for an item in your business and you only take cash, what happens? They might be willing to walk to the nearest ATM, but they may simply walk away.
Cashless payments offer two protective benefits for businesses. The first is that the payments taken cannot be lost or stolen in the same way that cash can. The second is that cashless payments reduce the chance of employee error.
Taking change from a cash drawer or cashing up at the end of the day will inevitably lead to errors. Cashless payments take errors out of the equation.
Following the outbreak of COVID-19, businesses are especially conscious of how hygienic their places of business are. Just one employee catching COVID could lead to days of lost business if all employees are forced to isolate. Banknotes can carry the virus, so any route to lessening your customers’ and employees’ contact with cash will make your business safer.
A study by Visa suggests that customers spend 40% more at restaurants when they can pay on card. With customers carrying less cash, any business that takes cashless payments will see higher value transactions than those that don’t.
Travis Credit Union surveyed customers and found that 59% prefer to pay with debit or credit card, compared to 29% with cash. The reasons cited by customers were ease and convenience, safety, hygiene, and the ability to see the transaction on their bank statements instantly. The fact is, customers want cashless payments.
In other words, if you haven’t implemented a cashless payment system just yet, you’re missing out.
5 tips to prepare you for cashless payments
We’ve outlined why you should prepare for cashless payments, but how can you do that? There are some simple steps you can take to prepare your business for cashless payments. From ensuring customers are able to pay safely and securely to using your new payment software as an opportunity to offer a great customer experience.
1. Ensure that you have multiple options
Giving your customers the option to pay without cash doesn’t mean you should forsake cash payments. Customers want options. Many customers, especially older customers, only carry cash.
Also, although cashless payment systems are increasingly robust, it helps to be prepared if your payment system goes down.
If you are investing in a cashless payment system, offer various ways to pay without cash, too. These can include contactless payments, digital wallets, and even letting customers scan a QR code and pay online.
2. Provide customer support
Cashless payments give your customers and you more options in your business’s transactions. But if you’re making a move to cashless payments, you must provide customer support.
Long-term customers may be surprised by the new options, so it’s important that you can support them during this change. You can also start a blog and make sure you provide clear and concise information on your website and your social media about the new payment options.
3. Identify customer preferences
Don’t just force your cashless payment system on your customers.
You must figure out your customers’ preferences, including whether they prefer to use credit and debit cards, contactless, or digital wallet payments.
One way to identify your customers’ preferences is through your business’s email marketing. You can announce your plans to update your payment system to your loyal customers and include a survey that asks them how they would prefer to pay. That is a quick and easy way to get a sense of your customers’ preferences.
4. Create a digital loyalty program
Digital loyalty programs are an exciting way to engage with your customers, improve customer loyalty, and promote your brand. Plus, loyalty programs have been shown to have a great ROI (return on investment).
If your business is going cashless, your cashless payment system can be integrated with a digital loyalty program. For example, a digital loyalty program can be linked with customers’ cards or digital wallets so that any transaction paid that way will give them loyalty points.
A digital loyalty program can also collect useful data about your customers. With this, you can offer perks to your loyal customers, such as birthday promotions and discounts.
A digital loyalty program is great for your digital marketing, too. Announcing a cashless payment system alongside a new digital loyalty program will be an exciting reason to visit for your mailing list or social media followers.
5. Ensure the safety of transactions
Use a cashless payment system from a reputable, accredited provider to ensure the safety of cashless transactions made in your business.
The best companies that offer cashless point-of-sale software have stringent security protocols and cyber attack insurance. So long as you are using legitimate, well-regarded payment software, you can be certain that your transactions and data will be safe.
Our advice? Do your homework and check that whatever payment system provider you choose is legitimate.
Offering cashless payments is a must for businesses today. Customers want it and even expect it. But it can also offer plenty of opportunities for boosting your business. It allows for faster and more efficient payments, is convenient, enables protection, and is hygienic. It’s also profitable and ensures customer satisfaction.
From ensuring your business is safe to attracting loyal customers through a digital loyalty program, there are many benefits to preparing your business for a cashless future.
In this article, I shared tips you can follow to prepare your business for cashless payments. Ensure you still have multiple payment options, provide customer support, identify customer preferences, and create a digital loyalty program. Don’t forget to ensure the safety of transactions as well.
Follow these tips, and you’ll have your new payment system up and running in no time. You’ll make your customers happy as a result. Good luck!
Matt Diggity is a search engine optimization expert and the founder and CEO of Diggity Marketing, The Search Initiative, Authority Builders, and LeadSpring LLC. He is also the host of the Chiang Mai SEO Conference.