As digital payment solutions have become increasingly common, one of the questions that has been raised on numerous industry forums is: Is it time to retire the cumbersome paper and coins we’ve used as legal tender since ancient times?
Cash costs us more than you would first expect. According to a Tufts University report, it costs US households $43 billion a year to deal with cash, taking into account time, fees and theft. For businesses, the costs are even higher: $55 billion, thanks to administrative costs and retail theft. Including government costs of $101 billion, cash costs the U.S. $200 billion a year.
Future Isn’t Bright for Cash
Over the last year, we’ve seen a number of signs that that the transition to a cashless society is accelerating. We discussed this topic last June when we took a closer look at a MasterCard report on our collective progress towards a global cashless economy. As expected, the future still isn’t looking bright for cash.
Last May, the Danish government proposed ending all cash payments. The Central Bank of Ireland stopped manufacturing 1 and 2 cent coins in late 2015. And it looks like Sweden might be the first country to go cashless. As cash falls by the wayside, how can the payments industry create a seamless transition for merchants and customers?
The Omnichannel Imperative
Retail TouchPoints published a whitepaper last year entitled Is Retail Ready for a Cashless Society?, which takes a closer look at the mobile and digital trends influencing this transition. The paper outlines five key elements of this evolution from cash to digital payments:
- The Omnichannel Imperative
- Mobile Payment/Mobile POS
- Digital Wallets
- Digital Currency
- Social Commerce
It’s clear that when it comes to retail, cash is giving way to digital payments. In this vein, omnichannel marketing and payments are pillars of future e-commerce growth. The paper notes that e-retail success depends on meeting customer needs in a seamless fashion across channels. This includes:
- The ability to easily transition between the full range of payment channels
- Multiple payment choices, including credit, debit, gift card and check scanning
- A 360-degree view of customer data across all channels, easily accessible to all employees, from HQ to store managers
A Single Unified Platform
This is very similar to the thinking that led us to develop our e-Power 2.0 platform. Smart Acquiring incorporates a variety of elements that work together to offer a unified and technologically innovative solution: The One Global Payment Platform, ePower 2.0. Credorax built ePower 2.0 as the first single, unified and automated global-domestic acquiring platform. This enables merchants and payment partners to work with one acquirer and one centralized, global payment platform, instead of fragmented and siloed payment solutions dispersed in different locations.
Saying goodbye is hard, but it does look like cash is on its way out. Offering consumers multiple ways to transition to digital payments easily is key for e-commerce success.