Volumatic advises businesses to support consumers as more turn to cash to help them budget

02 August 2022

New research conducted by ATM network LINK has found that millions of households in the UK are turning to cash instead of card payments to help them survive the cost-of-living crisis.

One-in-10 shoppers are looking to keep a tighter grip on their spending in an effort to save money and stick to their budget and have discovered that using cash is the answer.

And with these figures set to increase as the cost-of-living crisis continues to worsen throughout 2022, cash-handling experts Volumatic are advising businesses to take note and be ready to accept more cash payments again.

Many retail and hospitality businesses ‘turned digital’ during the pandemic, convinced by misinformation that cash somehow helped to spread the virus, and moved to only accepting card payments.

But while many of these businesses are now accepting cash again - especially after confirmation from the WHO that cash posed no greater threat in the spread of COVID than cards or mobile payments – there are still some businesses who are not accepting cash, which means they could find themselves out of pocket and out of favour with customers as the year progresses. Out of the 2,000 adults surveyed by LINK, almost a quarter said they were unable to use coins or notes in a shop and forced to use a card because the business simply refused to accept cash.

As Volumatic discovered when they conducted research in the cash industry for their white paper published last year, consumers are still very much demanding a choice when it comes to making payments. Even those not reliant on cash and not needing to use it to manage their spending do want to retain the option to make certain purchases using cash, alongside card and other digital payments.

Advice for businesses

The importance of businesses offering consumers the choice of how to pay was also highlighted earlier this year by the Cash Census survey, conducted by the RSA, which found that currently only around 20% of the population are fully opposed to using cash payments. Which raises the question as to why certain businesses seem determined to remain cashless?

While it could be argued by those businesses who have gone cashless in the wake of COVID that they are simply trying to save money by avoiding cash processing and CiT costs, they should also consider that the cost of card payment fees is also continuing to rise to extortionate levels. Since Brexit, EU laws that capped fees charged by card payment providers disappeared and that means companies who are cashless will face higher and higher payment fees for card transactions, which means excluding cash seems rather unjust.

Cash handling solutions can help

Accepting cash really doesn’t need to be feared or avoided. Cash is safe, convenient and beneficial to so many people and gone are the days when businesses had to rely on manual cash counting or lengthy cash reconciliation processes at the end of each day.

Volumatic can provide a number of cash handling solutions to suit any business that handles cash, from our simple range of CountEasy money counting scales to our innovative all-in-one solution, the CounterCache intelligent (CCi) - a secure storage device, cash counter and forgery detector in one discrete device, meaning staff only touch cash once until it reaches the bank. In addition, all cash data is instantly available to the staff or head office for reconciliation purposes, making life easier for everyone.

Volumatic MD James Harris said: “Although discussions about the UK becoming a cashless society have been circulating for many years, the reality is that cash is here to stay and so we would urge businesses to be listening to consumer demand. We’re not against card or digital payments, but we firmly believe cash has a place alongside these and consumers should be given the choice, and lots of industry research, including our own, supports this.

The cost-of-lining crisis is impacting us all in so many ways, but businesses should be finding ways to support customers rather than potentially turning away customers just because they want to use cash. Cash still has an important role to play in society, not only helping people to budget but also for those who are more dependent on cash, especially the elderly and vulnerable. Businesses risk alienating more and more customers when they need more help than ever, and at a time when the retail and hospitality industry may also struggle as more and more people tighten their belts, it doesn’t make commercial sense for any business to be refusing cash payments.”

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