The use of cash has been slowly declining over the last few years, but the current coronavirus pandemic has caused this to speed up.
A recent piece of research from LINK, the UK’s largest cash machine network, has found that over the next six months, consumers will start using contactless, digital payments and other payment types, to avoid having to deal with cash.
Almost three quarters of consumers asked said that Coronavirus has led them to use less cash because of hygiene fears, and more than half of people asked say they are now avoiding using coins and notes all together.
So if businesses aren’t already taking card payments, this trend shows that they could potentially see a big loss in sales, both now and in the future.
The reality is that things aren’t going to go back to normal for a while. And this will likely mean that the measures that businesses put in place now will have to continue, including going cashless, or encouraging cashless payments.
Could this temporary measure speed up the decline of cash even faster? A survey conducted by Amaiz for Money Mail suggested that 50% of small businesses have already gone cashless or still plan to do so because of the virus, so yes, it could. Only a fifth of people asked said they were not planning to remove the option for customers to pay by cash.
And as a lot of consumers may be being forced into paying for things by card, it could also mean that those who previously avoided it, could get more comfortable paying by card or digitally, which they may stick with going forward, again, reducing the number of people reliant solely on cash.
The payments industry also worked quickly to encourage cashless payments, upping the contactless limit from £30 to £45 to help reduce the amount of transactions that need a PIN entry. Again, this is to help to keep customers and businesses owners safe, but could also get more people used to paying this way, who previously would have dealt in cash.
If you’re running a business that doesn’t currently take cash, we can help you get set up quickly, or so that you’re ready for when your business reopens, if you’re not currently trading.
You can securely take payments over the phone with a virtual terminal. It’s a secure page you log into to process a payment whilst your customer is on the other end of the phone.
It’s super simple, so you don’t need technical knowledge to get up and running. All you need is an internet-enabled device, like your laptop, tablet or smartphone.
Multiple people can be logged in at once to take payments too. This means you don’t have to wait for one person to be finished processing a payment before putting another one through, doubling the amount of calls and payments you can take at once.
If you have a website, a payment gateway lets you take card payments for your products. It hooks up with the majority of leading shopping carts so you can accept payments online 24/7.
The research from LINK showed than 34% of people will move to doing more shopping online to avoid cash, so people will get more and more comfortable paying online.
We have an expert team who can help you get it up and running quickly. In fact, we helped lots of businesses do just this during the COVID-19 crisis, so they can continue trading.
If you’re a tradesperson, or someone else who regularly invoices their customers, pay by link can help speed up the process.
You can log into our system from an internet-enabled device and create and send an e-invoice, with a link, which your customers just click on to pay. This can be a standard invoice, or you can create a customisable email with a pay now button, or you can just copy and paste the link into and email you already send.
We’re here to help you every step of the way. From getting a full picture of how your business could benefit from taking card payments, to a bespoke pricing package built around your business, we’re on hand. We can help you get up and running taking payments confidently.
The Government hasn’t given any advice on whether you should or should not use cash because it’s understood to pose the same threat as any other item, such as a door handle, shopping trolley etc.
The virus can live on these items – the World Health Organisation (WHO) have suggested it can live for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel and up to 4 hours on copper. However, they said they need to do further research to understand this fully.
If you are handling cash, treat it like you would any other item – wash your hand thoroughly after touching it as per NHS guidelines.
Likewise, if your customers are using your pin pad on your card machine, it’s a good idea to wipe this down regularly to help keep yourself and your customers safe.
We understand it's a very difficult time for small businesses. To help support our customers, we've created a hub of useful information to help you through the coming weeks and months.