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The future of cashless payments

Last Updated 2022/04/12

The ability to take cashless payments for your business, either in-store or online has benefits far beyond customer convenience. Not having to collect, count up and transport cash is the most obvious one. Having a running total of all of your transactions in real time is another. Distance is less of an obstacle, and accepting foreign currencies is made a lot easier.

Aside from the standard credit, debit card and bank transfers, what are some of the emerging cashless payment methods that your business could take advantage of?

E-wallets

E-wallet services such as Paypal and Mastercard’s Masterpass allows customers to quickly and securely make online purchases from a number of sources (different cards or accounts for example) without having to enter banking or address details over and over again for each individual purchase.

By speeding up the checkout process, e-wallets reduce abandoned baskets, ensuring more customers complete their purchases. Supporting mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, allows for easy on-the-move purchases, expanding your audience reach.

Mobile payments

Mobile payment services such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay all offer the convenience of using an app on your smartphone or tablet for in-store purchases, much in the same way you would present a contactless card.

There are obvious advantages to accepting mobile payments for small businesses. Incentive schemes can be linked to the app, removing the need for paper tokens and stickers. Mobile payment apps tend to have lower fees than card companies, reducing costs for you, which can be passed on to the consumer as lower prices.

Smartphone security measures are improving in general, with new developments such as facial recognition, fingerprint scanning and voice detection, meaning that the risk of payment fraud is decreasing all the time.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies are a type of digital currency that use cryptography to maintain a secure, encrypted ledger of every transaction made, with the advantage of almost instantaneous transfer of money anywhere in the world. With the recent rise in interest in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, you may be considering it as a method of accepting payments. But there are some reasons you to be wary as a business owner.

The value of cryptocurrencies can wildly fluctuate, so taking payments through this method can be risky. Cryptocurrencies are often used in conjunction with illegal activities such as money laundering, which mainstream businesses might not want to be associated with. Security is also an issue, with many major hacks of Bitcoin exchanges taking place over the last few years.

Checkout-free shopping

The eventual “holy grail” of cashless payments is checkout-free shopping. Being able to enter a shop, filling a basket or cart with your purchases, and then having the charge for those items added up and billed to you automatically before you leave. No presentation of cash, card or mobile phone required.

This scenario may seem a long way off, but Amazon are currently beta testing a store in Seattle (only open to selected company employees for now) that uses “computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning” to provide a "Just-Walk-Out shopping experience”. It remains to be seen if checkout-free shopping is widely adopted, but with the relevant technology falling in price, it may be only a matter of time.

If you're interested in automating your business processes with a powerful, cloud-based software platform, get in touch today.

Adam Sykes