Leading cash handling solutions provider and manufacturer, Volumatic, is calling on retail and forecourt businesses to support cash as the spending limit on each use of a contactless card rises from £45 to £100.
Cash payments have had something of a raw deal in during the pandemic. Rumours that using cash aided the transmission of the virus were unjustly reported, sparking customer concerns that cash was something of a super-spreader. Many retailers wanted to do all they could to reassure customers that their stores were as safe as possible and made the decision to stop accepting cash as a payment method.
Cash, however, is most definitely not the enemy – it plays a vital role in society, particularly for older customers who do not understand or trust card and mobile payments, and the myths around it spreading the virus are completely unfounded. In fact cash is no more dangerous than handling payment cards, a mobile phone or entering a pin number into card machines.
With the UK’s contactless limit now being one of the highest across the globe, Volumatic believes that cash must continue to be a viable payment choice for consumers long term.
Mike Severs, Sales & Marketing Director, at Volumatic said: “Although the larger limit for contactless payments has already been introduced, many businesses across the UK simply aren’t ready for this change, and it could take months before the necessary upgrades to their systems are made. With everyone trying to reduce running costs in-store in this post-pandemic period, we are seeing how making a costly system change is not at the top of everyone’s agenda at the moment.”
Many retailers are fearful this latest change will enhance the already massive problem they are experiencing with accidental non-payments via contactless which in reality, is costing retail in particular billions in lost payments.
This is because many customers simply don’t realise the payment has failed and walk away with their shopping in all innocence, thinking their contactless payment has worked when it hasn’t. It is becoming a big problem for many retail businesses.
Making Cash King
Cash may seem old-school to some these days, but retail shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss it in a world where alternative payment technology is becoming increasingly more sophisticated.
“With scams and fraudulent activity also becoming more sophisticated, we need to consider the ramifications of moving to a contactless only future. Ultimately, consumers should be given the choice they want and deserve to have,” said Severs.
“While the UK adjusts to this latest change, and waits to see whether or not we enter a potential contactless crisis, we are urging retail businesses to consider cash as a viable and consistent payment method whatever changes come into being around card payments.”
Cash after Covid
As experts in cash handling, Volumatic recently launched a white paper which not only expelled the myths around using cash as a payment method in these uncertain times, but also highlighted the importance of its role.
As many retail businesses begin to attract customers back to their stores, the need to offer customers a choice of payment is bigger than ever. According to the Access to Cash Review, 97% of consumers continue to carry cash on them when they go shopping, making it vitally important that retailers now bring an end to their ‘card payments only’ policy if they want to attract more customers back to their stores.
The benefits of cash versus contactless
“Card and mobile payments are convenient, but the losses experienced by stores because of contactless, alongside security worries from the general public surely means stores should give cash the opportunity to bounce back as a popular payment method once more,” added Severs.
“Paying by cash leaves little room for error at the till point and where forgery concerns were once prevalent in accepting cash before Covid, the introduction of the new polymer notes with multiple security features over recent years has helped reduce counterfeit production, meaning it is less of a problem these days.
“Volumatic helps to reduce worries over the handling, security and banking of cash by providing a range of products that not only reduce costs but also make every business more efficient.
“Cash remains the second-most frequently used payment option, accounting for 9.3 billion payments per year in the UK. In the last five years, the value of cash in circulation has grown from £60 billion to close to £80 billion*, demonstrating that we are far from a cashless society.”
“Consumers are being denied the choice to pay with cash, rather than consumers choosing to move towards a cashless society.
“In order to create a resilient cash infrastructure, we need to ensure there are improvements throughout the supply chain. For cash to remain safe and accessible, well-organised changes need to be made to the cash cycle and we will continue to provide the right solutions for retailers to safely accept cash efficiently. For retailers, by eliminating cash, they may be excluding a large proportion of their customer base,” he added.
* Bank of England statistics 2021