In the popular BBC miniseries Capital, a builder finds a suitcase full of money in the South London house he has been hired to renovate. A life-changing discovery, he takes the suitcase home with him but has sleepless nights over the theft. In the end he comes clean and returns it. But the cash, more than 50 years old, is basically worthless anyway
Cash has a long and interesting history. In neolithic times people tired of unwieldy barter and decided to trade with rare and shiny pebbles and shells. But now, more than 3000 years later, we are seeing cash unseated as king of trading methods. It happened gradually over the past decade—and accelerated over the past two years.
We are encouraged to use cards, contactless, direct transfers, direct debits, mobile wallets—to the point that a seeing a 50 or 100 pound note gives you a bit of a jolt. Cashless payments have now overtaken the use of notes and coins. Sweden has gone almost completely cashless with less than 10% of transactions involving cash, and Canada has abolished the penny.
So what does this all mean for business owners? As each new innovation is adopted, customers balk at having to return to previous payment methods. POS technology that can handle all payment methods becomes a necessity—and the benefits are numerous.
- UK ranks 3rd in the world for mobile wallet payments (2018)
- Mobile POS used by all age groups, from 18 to the 65+
- In 2017 the UK had highest European revenue with cashless
payments—106.7 trillion Euros
The advantages of upgrading to a POS system that can handle cashless, mobile phone payments as well as cash have been well documented. Attract younger customers, show that your business is in tune with today’s trends and payment preferences, simplify and streamline record keeping. Increase spend at the till, and reduce crime and theft. The argument that this alienates older customers is also increasingly debunked as trends point to people in their 60s and beyond using mobile purchase technology. Sure, many still oppose a cashless society, but one by one those doubts are being replaced by technology adoption.
Don’t expect to be able to purchase a drink on British Airways with cash—card is all they take for your mid-flight G&T. By 2020, 450 million people will use a mobile wallet on their smartphone to pay. Gone are the days of dashing to the CashPoint, cashless is the future and having a robust and adaptable payment terminal is an essential part of your business plan.