Here’s the reality: this pandemic has and will continue to change how we live our lives. In point of fact—the new normal. The first bump took the place of the handshake. A polite wave in lieu of a cheek-to-cheek greeting. The morning commute has been diverted to the kitchen table. That is our new normal.
One major daily event we have almost taken for granted—well, for most of us, anyway—is how we transact business. It is customary to carry cash because, hey, cash is king! There are signs, however, that the king may soon be dethroned. Is that possible?
Towards a Cashless Solution
In many countries, cash was already being replaced by plastic and payment apps as urban consumers increasingly prefer the convenience it offers. And why not? You don’t need to lug around wads of cash in your wallet or handbag or have them coins jingling around in your pocket all day. You are spared the possibility of being mugged because some rorter saw you flashing your wad of cash as you paid for some mint or bottled coffee.
What the pandemic is doing is it is accelerating this shift towards a cashless future. In our world today, there is less contact. People changing their financial routines is a reflection of a bigger shift—that of governments, businesses and the consumer populace at large that is rethinking the current operating models and norms to achieve ‘safety’.
Swipe Left, Swipe Right
These are the dynamics that offer a new level of convenience for both shoppers and merchants. Here are the advantages of going digital in your daily financial transactions.
Safety – This point may seem obvious, but it bears repeating. Less contact facilitates getting herd immunity faster as the spread of COVID-19 is minimized. We can stay at home all we want, but we have necessities. We need to put food on the table. Even if we go the route of delivered groceries, we are still going to get exposed. However, the best way to minimize exposure is to go the cashless payment route.
Convenience – As the world tries to go back to some semblance of normalcy, it is important to realize that we can’t hole up in our homes for the next 4 to 5 years while the medical community searches for a cure. Governments are slowly lifting restrictions, and people are going out and about, trying to get back to their normal lives of shopping, dining out, going to the movies. In these instances, having an e-wallet is an advantage. Cash is no longer changing hands, so point one for minimizing contracting the virus. Long queues are becoming a thing of the past because with a mere tap on your smart device, your payment is settled. This point is probably the strongest case one can make for cashless payments
Merchant’s Advantage – If you’re running a retail store, then this one is for you. As a business owner, one of your biggest concerns should be shoplifting, correct? It is easy to assume that, but the reality is that employee theft costs US businesses $50 billion annually. For small to medium businesses, this amount is staggering even if you’re just part of the statistics. It hinders growth and practically puts your business at risk. A few loose coins here and there, a couple of bucks every now and then, and before you know it, your losses are running in the hundreds of dollars monthly.
While it is certainly only a small number of employees who do this, removing the opportunity is certainly a step in the right direction. Being able to accept and process cashless payments minimizes the risks of your employees stealing from you.
Familiarize Yourself With Different Cashless Payment Modes
We’ve listed below the different modalities of cashless payments available to you. Pick one or a combination of two or three so that you are flexible in your dealings with the retail industry.
Plastic or Plastic
The credit card and debit card are two of the most widely used cashless payment modes the world over. While we won’t delve into the economics of buying on credit or the nuances involved in debit payment, paying in either mode has distinct advantages that you can benefit from. Typically, credit card companies offer special perks if you use their services, such as reward points, instant gifts (in cooperation with a particular merchant), rebates, and other similar exciting rewards.
A Debit card, on the other hand, is cashless transaction through and through. One sure thing about debit cards–merchants won’t be troubling you for a ‘smaller bill’, for sure. Merchants, on the other hand, could benefit CloudBanking’s Virtual terminal which provides quick payment with low transaction cost and less risk exposure.
The Digital Wallet
The Fintech industry has ushered us into the digital age, finance-wise. It integrates technology into service offerings of financial institutions to offer an alternative mode of payment to consumers. The digital wallet is the result of this integration. Also known as the mobile wallet app, this allows users to store, send and receive money. More and more merchants and businesses can process cashless payments in paying for purchases and settling bills using the consumer’s digital wallet.
Paying by QR Code is commonplace these days. But do you know what ‘QR’ stands for? It’s simply ‘quick response’, and what it is is a barcode on steroids. And it’s interesting to note that this method was invented in 1994, although it was originally intended for another use altogether. What it does for us now is save us from having to fill out endless forms when going into a retail store for contact tracing purposes, and more importantly, it facilitates seamless cashless payments. Quite nifty, if you think about it, that when you walk up to the cashier, instead of whipping out your wallet, you open your mobile device, scan the retailer’s barcode, tap, tap, tap and you’re done!
Versatility is what RFID brings to the table. Radio frequency identification cards are more common in retail stores and transport systems all over the world. By simply tapping or waving your RFID card near a card reader, you can process a payment and complete a transaction a matter of seconds. This is truly cashless AND contactless payment as the card never leaves your hand nor touches the reader. A further advantage of RFID technology is that that the RFID or NFC chip can be embedded in a bracelet (Disney Resorts come to mind) and stickers, depending on the intended use.
When we think of the good ol’ POS terminals, we naturally think of the row of cashiers at a grocery store nearest the exit. However, point of sale terminals have evolved. The electronic POS software systems available now can streamline retail operations by automating the transaction process. In addition, it is able to effectively track important sales data. POS basic system is comprised of n electronic cash register along with the corresponding software that coordinates data collected from daily transactions. Versatility comes from adding a slew of data capturing devices such as card readers and QR scanners.
CloudBanking’s physical terminal is practical for businesses with a fixed payment counter, and it easily integrates with the existing register. CloudBanking’s Virtual terminal, on the other hand, accepts both credit and debit cards, as well as Direct Debit anytime, anywhere. By simply using your mobile or laptop‘s web browser, you are able to start transacting immediately.
CloudBanking’s Mobile POS solution instantly turns your mobile device into a POS terminal, and its usability on multiple devices at no extra cost means more revenue for your retail business. CloudBanking offers the most flexible payment solution while improving your business cash flow.
While cash remains king, the undeniable fact is that cashless payment systems are on the rise. Every day, the technology that hosts this revolution is developed and improved, allowing more and more consumers to adopt it. Keeping this in mind, it fills us with anticipation of what lies ahead around the financial corner.