In short, going cashless was a decision made for both security, hygiene and efficiency. Some might suggest that this practice is illegal however in the UK, it is not illegal to refuse cash as payment. In fact, we see more and more small businesses opting for card-only as the majority of consumers are using debit cards regularly.
Although coins and banknotes are officially classed as a “legal tender”, this only applies to settling a debt, not paying for goods in a transactional situation. In other words, it’s a requirement to allow cash payments to pay for a debt, but shops are free to refuse cash as a tender when a customer wants to purchase a product.
Our reasons for card-only
Cash is no longer preferred: Debit card usage overtook cash payments in 2018, as consumers are finding contactless and chip and PIN payments more convenient than fiddling with coins and banknotes.
COVID-19: There’s no getting away from it, handing over bank notes and coins can significantly increase the potential for transmission of infection. Money is known to carry germs, both on paper currency and coins i.e Paper money is considered a fomite, which is an inanimate object that is likely to carry pathogens. There is no perfect way to sanitize money, but you can protect yourself from germs by handling currency with gloves or frequently washing your hands.
Banks are making it harder to use cash: In recent years, banks are pushing the trend for card payments by shutting down cash machines and bank branches accepting cash deposits from businesses. This has made it more of a hassle to reach a bank where you can deposit cash takings regularly and get change, plus the charges for deposits have risen.
It takes time to cash up: How long does it take to count the money and balance the tills at the end of each day? If you only accept cards, you don’t have to deal with that, which will save you time and money on staff wages.
Queues are slower if you accept cash: A big reason why many bars, quick-service places and restaurants are moving over to cards-only is strategic: you can sell more if your queues are faster. With contactless payments, it takes mere seconds to tap and go, meaning you can serve more people in the same space of time as merchants who deal with cash.
A cash drawer of money makes you susceptible to theft: Keeping cash presents the very real risk of robbery if you store cash on the premises. If all your payments were by card and you have a sign stating this, the risk of robbery is significantly lower. This is especially the case if you sell high-value products like jewellery and computers.
By keeping it cashless we may put some customers off, which is regrettable, but we took our time to consider the pro’s and con’s before making that decision. We hope that our valued customers will understand that we made this decision for the benefit of our staff, our customers and our business.